In preparation for the ASCA Q1 earnings release tomorrow, we’ve put together the pertinent forward looking commentary from ASCA’s Q4 earnings call and refi/stock repurchase release.
- Repurchased 26,150,000 shares of its common stock from the Estate of Craig H. Neilsen at a price of $17.50 per share, for a total price of $457,625,000.
- "Excluding certain one-time costs, we expect the repurchase to be immediately accretive to Ameristar's earnings per share. The refinancing also reduces the weighted-average interest rate on the Company's outstanding debt from approximately 6.7% to approximately 5.4% based on current LIBOR rates and provides flexibility in the near term to retire significant amounts of debt, while preserving Ameristar's ability to take advantage of appropriate growth opportunities that may arise in the future."
- Cash tender of $649.533MM of 9 1/4% Senior Notes due 2014 was validly tendered on April 26, 2011
- "Accordingly, the margin declined by 2.2 percentage points, but remain very strong at 32.8%, it’s not strong enough from our perspective and we’re focusing very carefully on improving the margins at Black Hawk."
- [St. Charles] "Our market share at about 26% and admissions have been pretty consistent for the last three quarters. There’s been a lot more movement back and forth over the last several month between the other competitors in the market and the new competitor seems to be taking more of a bite out of each of them than it does out of us."
- [East Chicago] "We’re continuing our attempts to strengthen the property by proceeding with the renovation of the hotel rooms and working with the state and city on various road improvements that should enhance access to our property."
- "We expect further narrowing of the year-over-year quarterly variances for St. Charles with the lapping of the entry of the new competitor in that market toward the end of the first quarter of this year and the lapping obviously has occurred with the East Chicago bridge closure, but also with – we will experience a change in a lapping of our direction and promotional spend in that market early in this year, also. We’re optimistic for continued year-over-year growth, as Gordy indicated, from our properties in our more stable competitive markets which are Kansas City, Council Bluffs and Vicksburg at the present times."
- "Our Q1 2011 estimate for non-cash stock-based compensation expense will be approximately $3 million to $3.5 million. For the year, we anticipate it to be $13.5 million to $14.5 million, approximately approaching $15 million. That number will increase during the second half of the year. Our blended federal and state tax rate is projected to be between 42% and 43% for the first quarter and for the year. Capital spending for Q1 is expected to be in the range of $10 million to $15 million, which we anticipate will be predominately KC hotel expansion and maintenance CapEx. Total capital spending for 2011 is anticipated to be $65 million to $70 million."
- "Net interest expense in Q1 is expected to be near $25 million. Non-cash interest expense is expected to be between $2 million and $2.5 million in the first quarter. Assuming LIBOR rates stay relatively stable, interest expense should decrease year-over-year in Q1 by approximately $9 million, due to the swap agreements expiring in July of last year and an overall decrease in our debt levels. We expect to generate significant cash flow that will allow us the flexibility to pay down $20 million to $25 million in Q1, and possibly $120 million to $130 million for the entire year. On the dividend front, assuming board approval, we will currently expect a first quarter dividend to be paid."
- [Black Hawk] "And if we get the topline growth from the economy side, then there’s the potential for some margin improvement.
- "We hope there’s margin improvement opportunities at other properties as well. It’s not just limited to Black Hawk. But Black Hawk’s hotel is still relatively new, and we think we can operate a little more efficiently there as we continue to build out the property’s performance. But with the flow-through and the efficiency of our operations we should be able to push some margin growth on a consolidated basis as well through the other properties."
- [East Chicago] "There is work going on in terms of improving the local road access. That’s going a little slower than we had anticipated, but it’s gearing up."