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Boyd Gaming expects to report quarterly loss when it reports earnings

Boyd Gaming Corp. told investors Thursday it expects to report a net loss of between $44.3 million and $49.8 million in the fourth quarter due to “several short-term factors in December” related to the Borgata in Atlantic City.

In a statement, the Las Vegas-based regional casino operator said an unusually low hold percentage at the Borgata’s casino and severe winter weather during two weekends in New Jersey slowed business results. The expected net loss will translate into loss per share of between 40 cents and 46 cents.

“Despite short-term challenges at Borgata, we remain optimistic about the overall direction of our business,” Boyd Gaming CEO Keith Smith said.

The company said Borgata’s expected fourth-quarter performance does not include “any meaningful impacts from online gaming,” which launched in New Jersey at the end of November.

Boyd Gaming also told investors its companywide cash flow, described as earnings before taxes and other charges, would be at the lower end of a previously provided range between $105 million to $110 million.

Analysts said the company’s announcement, made at the stock markets close Thursday, was done to soften the blow when the company announces earnings later this month.

Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Carlo Santarelli said the pre-earnings announcement “alleviates” any risk that the company’s stock price could suffer a large decline during earnings.

Shares of Boyd Gaming closed at $9.56 on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, up 36 cents or 3.91 percent.

Macquarie Securities gaming analyst Chad Beynon said gaming results across the U.S. in several regional markets have been disappointing in the past quarter.

“While the extent of Borgata’s decline is a bit surprising, the overall state of Boyd’s portfolio and the fact that they foresee the lower end of the wholly owned cash flow range is not,” Beynon said.

Boyd Gaming said the fourth quarter results would also include charges of $24.7 million due to early Borgata debt retirement and noncash impairment charges, estimated to total $4.1 million.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.

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