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Howard Stutz

Station Casinos back on track post-bankruptcy, CFO says

20 March 2013

LAS VEGAS -- Mission accomplished.

Station Casinos, Inc. Chief Financial Officer Marc Falcone said Tuesday the company accomplished its stated goals for 2012, which included growing revenues 4.4 percent in the casino operator’s first full year following completion of a bankruptcy court-administered reorganization.

Falcone cited other accomplishments, including a $2.475 billion refinancing that was completed this month, and reducing the company’s long-term debt balance by $216.6 million.

“We believe we are well positioned for 2013 to continue to focus on efficiently operating our core business,” Falcone said of the company, which operates 17 casinos in Southern Nevada and an Indian casino in Michigan.

The refinancing, Falcone said, consolidated the company’s operating properties into a “simpler and more efficient organizational structure” under one borrower for the first time since 2007. Debt maturities were extended to 2020 and 2021.

He said Station Casinos also has completed more than $4 billion of financing since the company emerged from bankruptcy in June 2011.

For the three months that ended Dec. 31, Station Casinos had revenues of $303.2 million, relatively flat compared to a year ago. The company’s net loss in the quarter increased to $7.8 million, compared with a net loss of $4.2 million in the same quarter a year ago. The 2012 net loss was primarily because of depreciation, a noncash impact line item.

However, officials said the company’s total revenues for the year reached $1.23 billion, up from $1.178 billion in 2011. Station Casinos reported a net profit of $13.3 million, reversing a net loss of $40.8 million in 2011.

“We are pleased to note that we experienced gains in both revenues and operating income across all of our major departments for the year,” Falcone said.

He said the company also moved forward on two separate business units, Native American-managed properties and online gaming.

During the year, Station Casinos refinanced debt on the Gun Lake Casino in Michigan, which the company operates for the Gun Lake Tribe. Falcone said the refinancing improved the company’s management fees.

Station Casinos also completed $850 million in new construction financing for the Graton Resort and Casino in Rohnert Park, Calif., which is located about 40 miles north of San Francisco. The casino, which is owned by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, is expected to open later this year.

Also, the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians, which has had a decade-old management agreement with Station Casinos, received federal approval in December to build a casino near Fresno, Calif.

“We hope to break ground in 2014,” Falcone said.

Station Casinos bought 50.1 percent of Fertitta Interactive, an online gaming company partly owned by Station Casinos owners Frank Fertitta III and Lorenzo Fertitta.

Fertitta Interactive, which owns the Ultimate Poker brands, has been approved in Nevada for online gaming within the state. Falcone said a website could launch by this summer.

The acquisition, Falcone said, “provides Station with control of one of the few established online poker platforms in the world and the programming expertise to continually adapt and improve the product.”
Station Casinos back on track post-bankruptcy, CFO says is republished from