IN BRIEF

Community bank out of Nasdaq compliance

Community Bancorp said Wednesday that it received notice that it had violated requirements for continued listing on the Nasdaq National Market by failing to file its annual 10-K report for last year on time.

Community Bancorp said it has 60 days from the April 17 date of the notice to submit a plan for complying. Nasdaq can grant the company an extension of up to 180 days to satisfy requirements. The company said it expects to file the 10-K within that period.

Shares in the company fell 8 cents, or 3.1 percent, closing at $2.49 on Nasdaq.

Wynn Resorts amends credit agreement

Wynn Resorts Ltd. rose Wednesday in Nasdaq trading after it amended a credit agreement, accepting a higher interest rate and lower loan limit in exchange for a two-year extension and relief from some debt covenants.

Wynn climbed $2.97, or 9.4 percent, to close at $34.56.

Lenders waived leverage covenants in the Wynn Las Vegas revolver loan until June 2011 and increased them thereafter. They extended the maturity of about $610 million of the loan to July 2013 from August 2011 and eased interest coverage ratios, Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts said Tuesday in a statement.

The casino company said in the statement that it has more than $1.3 billion in cash and about $4.5 billion in long-term debt.

Penn National boss prepares to pounce

Penn National Gaming Inc. Chief Executive Officer Peter Carlino likens himself to a wolf stalking bigger prey.

Armed with $1.48 billion, Carlino says he’s waiting until debt-laden MGM Mirage, Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. and other ailing casino owners are forced to sell properties along the Strip. Once financial restructuring moves are exhausted and companies face default, he will make his move.

“We’re watching things very closely but will pounce only when the sun, moon and stars align,” Carlino said in an e-mail last month. “Penn National can wait as long as need be to make acquisitions that will be opportunistic and, more importantly, return-focused.”

Penn National, a Wyomissing, Pa.-based racetrack owner that expanded into slots, has cash when the world’s biggest casino operators don’t. Revenue at Strip properties like Harrah’s Caesars Palace and MGM Mirage’s Bellagio has fallen, making it harder for their owners to service debt.

Penn National is expected to report first-quarter earnings of 34 cents a share today, excluding some items, on sales of $609 million, the average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

RENO

Private company hired to run Cal Neva Resort

The lender that foreclosed on the historic Cal Neva Resort at Lake Tahoe said Wednesday that a private management firm has been hired to run the operation and keep it open while the hotel-casino’s future is contemplated.

Canyon Capital Realty Advisors, a Los Angeles-based investment group, earlier this month assumed ownership of the hotel-casino once owned by Frank Sinatra after no bids were received at foreclosure sales held April 8 in California and Nevada.

National Hospitality Holdings LLC, a Philadelphia-based company that specializes in hotel investment and management, has been hired to oversee the property, Canyon said in a statement.

Canyon filed a default notice against the Cal Neva in December after its owner, Namcal LLC, failed to make payments on a $26.8 million debt.

NEW YORK

McDonald’s earnings increase in first quarter

McDonald’s Corp., which has been thriving during the economic downturn, said its first-quarter profit climbed 3.5 percent as more customers worldwide came to the Golden Arches for a cheap meal.

Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s said it earned $979.5 million, or 87 cents per share, for the quarter ended March 31, up from $946.1 million, or 81 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a profit of 82 cents per share.

Sales fell 9.4 percent to $5.08 billion from $5.61 billion

Barclays Capital analyst Jeffrey Bernstein called the company’s results “impressive in this environment” and said in a note to investors that McDonald’s will remain “the name investors return to in a ‘flight to quality.’ “

Outlooks cut for makers of casino equipment

Casinos aren’t ordering as many new slot machines leading an analyst to cut his expectation for how high the shares of one company might rise and to lower his sales estimates for another.

Sterne Agee analyst David Bain cut his slot replacement forecasts for casino equipment suppliers after WMS Industries Inc. reported lower-than-expected units sold late Tuesday.

Bain lowered Bally’s price target to $52 from $54. He reaffirmed a “buy” rating.

Bain reduced his 2009 revenue estimate for Reno-based International Game Technology to $2.19 billion from $2.21 billion and lowered its 2010 estimate to $2.32 billion from $2.37 billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect 2009 sales of $2.28 billion and 2010 revenue of $2.4 billion.

Bain kept a “neutral” rating and $13.30 price target on the company.

TRENTON, N.J.

Pharmaceutical sales expected to slow

Pharmaceutical sales, squeezed by the worldwide recession, will increase globally by the slowest rate in a quarter-century and decline in the U.S. this year, according to a new forecast.

Data firm IMS Health, which tracks medication sales in more than 100 countries, said Wednesday it expects a growth rate of 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent worldwide over 2008 sales.

That’s about 2 percentage points below the prior IMS forecast, in October, and far below the 6.5 percent to 8 percent growth rates from 2004 through 2007.

In the United States, IMS expects pharmaceutical sales to actually decline by a percent or two this year, then remain flat through 2013.

NEW YORK

Treasury prices fall as bank worries renewed

Treasurys dipped Wednesday, even as stocks fell in a late-day slump on renewed worries about problems at banks.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note fell 0.31 points to 98.34. Its yield rose to 2.96 percent from 2.90 percent late Tuesday.

The 30-year bond fell 1 point to 94.59. Its yield rose to 3.83 percent from 3.74 percent.

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