Station Casinos has strong third quarter, won’t discuss pending IPO

Those hoping to hear a little more color on Station Casinos planned $100 million initial public offering Thursday were sorely disappointed.

At the outset of the company’s third quarter conference call with analysts and investors, Chief Financial Officer Marc Falcone said any conversation surrounding the IPO, such as a launch date of the number of shares the casino will place on the market, was off the table.

“We are currently in the quiet period with respect to the offering and will not be commenting further about the IPO,” Falcone said.

As such, not one question was asked by analysts or investors on the conference call, which lasted less than 15 minutes.

Talk of the IPO, which would return to the locals gaming giant to the stock for going private in 2008, first surfaced during February’s quarterly earnings call. Falcone shot down rumors of the offering again in May.

In an S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last month, Station Casinos said it was moving ahead with the stock sale.

The lack of color concerning the IPO didn’t diminish the company’s results for the quarter that ended Sept. 30. Station Casinos said its cash flow grew for the 18th consecutive quarter while revenue increased in the 10th straight quarter.

“Our third quarter operating results highlight the positive momentum we continue to experience across our business,” Falcone said.

Station Casinos reports earnings quarterly because the company has $2.1 billion in publicly held debt.

“We achieved strong performance at our Las Vegas properties, which experienced increased guest spending as the economy continued to gain momentum,” Falcone said.

The company’s net revenue for the quarter was $323.6 million, an increase of 4.5 percent. Cash flow increased 14 percent to $102.1 million.

During the conference call, Falcone said customer spending increases in both gaming and nongaming areas helped fuel the increases. Gaming revenue increased for the fifth consecutive quarter while hotel revenue and the nontraditional revenue per available room figures grew 9 percent.

“The positive momentum in the Las Vegas economy has resulted in increases in spending on both gaming and nongaming activities,” Falcone said. “We believe the continued improvement in these areas should bode well for further upside in our business.”

Station Casino operates 19 large and small casinos throughout Southern Nevada. Also, the company manages two Indian casinos, one each in California and Michigan. The company received $16.6 million in management fees, a 55.4 percent increase, during the quarter.

Falcone said lower interest expense at the company’s Graton Casino in Northern California contributed to the increase in management fees.

Falcone also didn’t discuss the possible sale of 57 acres on the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard the company recently listed with a $40 million asking price. The undeveloped land has a sales requirement that the site not be used for gaming. Station Casinos controls six gaming-entitled development sites in Las Vegas and Reno, covering 290 acres.

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

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