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Pinnacle reverses second-quarter loss, will open Louisiana casino in August

26 July 2012

Regional casino operator Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. reversed its second-quarter net loss from a year ago while increasing revenues 3.1 percent.

The Las Vegas-based company also said it was pushing the planned opening of its fourth casino in Louisiana to the end of August.

Pinnacle said Wednesday its overall revenues in the quarter that ended June 30 were $298.3 million, mainly due to the company's flagship L'Auberge du Lac resort in Lake Charles, La., and its two St. Louis casinos.

Net income for the quarter was just under $12 million, which reversed a net loss of $29 million from the same quarter in 2011. Pinnacle's earnings per share were 19 cents, compared to a loss of 47 cents per share last year.

"We also made significant progress executing on our strategic priorities and operating philosophies," Pinnacle Chief Executive Officer Anthony Sanfilippo said in a statement.

Pinnacle announced it would open the $368 million L'Auberge Casino Hotel Baton Rouge on Aug. 29, ahead of its original planned opening in September. On Tuesday, Pinnacle announced plans to add a small hotel to its casino in New Orleans.

The company has filed a license application with the Ohio Lottery Commission to operate a video lottery terminal casino at the River Downs Race Track in Cincinnati.

On Wednesday, Pinnacle announced plans to repurchase $100 million of the company's stock.

"We believe it reflects confidence in our ability to continue to drive additional improvement in the financial performance of our existing assets, our growth pipeline, and the health of our balance sheet," Pinnacle Chief Financial Officer Carlos Ruisanchez said in a statement.

In July, Pinnacle acquired Federated Sports and Gaming out of bankruptcy, which Sanfilippo said would help the company "advance a new line of business and our online gaming strategy." The acquisition also included the Midwest-based Heartland Poker Tour.

"We also plan to expand the Heartland Poker Tour and more extensively integrate its events into our property portfolio," Sanfilippo said.