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Boyd Gaming reports quarterly earnings of $35.1 million

Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming, a leading operator in downtown Las Vegas and a player in the Southern Nevada locals market, reported continued earnings growth in the first quarter of 2015.

The company on Thursday reported earnings of $35.1 million, 31 cents a share, on revenue of $550.6 million, compared with a loss of $6.2 million, 6 cents a share, on revenue of $541.1 million for the quarter that ended March 31.

Results from the 2014 quarter incorporate the company’s revised partnership agreement with MGM Resorts International and its 50 percent ownership of the Borgata property in Atlantic City amended in September.

Results beat Wall Street earnings estimates of 10 cents a share.

Keith Smith, president and CEO of Boyd, said the company’s results are building off favorable fourth-quarter momentum.

“The results are encouraging and it appears the consumer is getting healthier, more confident and is spending more,” Smith said in remarks to investors in a Thursday conference call.

It was the seventh straight quarter of nongaming revenue growth for the company, which also reduced debt by more than $80 million last year and has focused on operational efficiencies.

Asked by an analyst about the pessimistic outlook Wynn Resorts Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn shared with his investors on Tuesday, Smith acknowledged that the two companies have different markets, but that he sees a favorable outlook in Las Vegas in the months ahead.

“We’re having a good April and May looks pretty good to us,” Smith said. “June is a little soft for now, but that’s typical of this time of year. I understand what Mr. Wynn said, but our operation is different.”

For the short term, Smith said the company expects to benefit from higher room rates produced this weekend for the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. boxing match and the following two weekends for the Rock in Rio music festival.

Smith said the company benefited during the quarter on its Hawaiian charter service with the lower cost of fuel. The company estimated that half its downtown segment improvement could be attributed to the lower cost of transporting customers from Hawaii, a key segment of Boyd’s market.

But the company also was hurt during the quarter by a Rampart Boulevard construction project near the company’s Suncoast property. The company reported a decline in revenue, an estimated $1 million drop in cash flow and a lower sports book hold during the Super Bowl as a result of the road project.

Boyd’s other properties — it has 22 in eight states — also performed well with 10 of the 12 properties outside Nevada and New Jersey showing increases in revenue growth and operating margins.

Boyd stock closed Thursday up 6 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $13.20 a share in light trading.

Contact reporter Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Find @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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