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Best of Howard Stutz

Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz
 

Golden Entertainment reports profit in first quarter as public company

5 November 2015

Las Vegas-based Golden Entertainment, in its first two months as a public company, hopes its initial quarterly results foreshadowed the business's potential for investors.

The company — the result of a $341 million merger between Lakes Entertainment and Golden Gaming — said Wednesday its net income for the third quarter was $3 million, or 16 cents per share. The figure reversed a $23.1 million net loss reported in the same quarter a year ago by Lakes Entertainment.

Combined, Golden Entertainment said its net revenue for the quarter that ended Sept. 30 was $62.5 million. The quarter included 61 days of results from Golden Gaming.

CEO Blake Sartini only faced a few questions from investors on the company's quarterly conference call but said the company has been discussions to gain coverage from the investment community.

The merger brought together Golden Gaming — Nevada's largest slot machine route operator, tavern owner and the company's three casinos in Pahrump — with Lakes Entertainment, which the owned the Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Maryland.

"In addition to the current portfolio that is generating strong free cash flow, we are focused on executing on a broad slate of long-term growth opportunities," Sartini said in a statement.

On the conference call, Sartini said the company would evaluate opportunities to expand its presence as they "make economic and strategic sense."

At the Rocky Gap, the casino added 54 slot machine has asked the state for permission to expand its table game pit. Golden is spending $1 million to add 160 parking spaces to the resort.

In Nevada, the company's more than 7,600 slot machine route operation, which provided 65 percent of the overall cash flow in the quarter, added 85 devices this year, including 60 at its own taverns. Golden is contracted to add 115 more devices at 10 locations next year.

In response to a question about Reno, Sartini said Golden is focused on expanding along the Interstate 80 corridor. The company operates 2,500 slot machines in the Northern Nevada market. The company also has a gaming route license in Montana, and is currently evaluating opportunities in the state, which has more than 16,500 slot machines.

During the quarter, Golden incurred $9.3 million in merger expenses.

Golden had been privately held by the Sartini family until the merger. The Sartini family retained a 35 percent ownership stake in Golden Entertainment and Blake Sartini is chairman of the company board.