In preparation for ASCA's FQ1 2012 earnings release Wednesday morning, we’ve put together the recent pertinent forward looking company commentary.



 Youtube from FQ4 2011 conference call

  • "Because we almost immediately fell below 5.5 times earlier in the year, once we file our certificate with the banks, we'll be lowering the add-on for our revolver by 25 basis points. So, we're basically staring out this year at an interest rate on the revolver at a lower level than when the facility was put in place last April."
  • "As we've stated in previous earnings releases, the Blanchette Bridge which is the interstate bridge by our St. Charles facility is now starting to receive some preliminary work with minor intermittent lane and highway ramp closures. We had said early in previous call that we thought the actual bridge westbound span would be closed either maybe in March or April. The state now announced it will be around November of 2012 before the bridge is actually completely closed for the construction work – obviously this will create some inconvenience for up to a year with our guests. However, there are several different routes that can be taken by our guests to access Ameristar St. Charles. So, we believe that despite some of the interruption there will be some negative impact to revenues that we'll be able to manage the situation and it is temporary."
  • "Our Q1 2012 estimate for non-cash stock-based compensation expense will be between $4.5 million and $5 million. For the entire year the rate should be somewhere around $14.8 million to $15.8 million. We expect our blended tax rate to get back to normal for the first quarter and for the year with those rates being approximately 43% and 44%."
  • "On the capital spend side, for the first quarter we are looking at $31 million to $36 million number but that number does include the $16 million purchase of land in Springfield. So the run rate will be back to what our normal run rate is which should be somewhere between $15 million and $20 million on the normal maintenance CapEx."
  • "Total capital expenditures for the year should be somewhere between $85 million and $90 million including the land purchase in Massachusetts. Net interest expense in Q1 is expected to be approximately $27 million. Non-cash interest expense is expected to be approximately $1.4 million. For the year, we anticipate interest expense to be between $103.5 million and $108.5 million, flat year-over-year due to expected debt repayments and the add-on reduction offset by what we believe will probably be some slight increase in LIBOR throughout the year."
  • "Q1 corporate expenses are increasing slightly. We expect the range to be $12.5 million to $13 million for the quarter and $52 million to $53 million for the year. This excludes the corporate portion of stock-based comp. We expect to generate significant cash flows that will allow us the flexibility to pay down debt again this year and the first quarter range to be between $20 million to $25 million and for the year somewhere between $155 million and $165 million."
  • "Obviously the number of outstanding shares bounced around this year with the stock buyback and we had multiple numbers during the year. Going forward, the number should range between $34 million and approximately $35 million and diluted weighted average shares starting now at about $34 million for the first quarter."
  • [Promotional spending] "And all I could say is – if I were you, I wouldn't expect any surprises."
  • "I think we're seeing a decent degree of stabilization. There are some very short-term trend lines that give us some hope for optimism, but they're too short to give us confidence in them getting there.  The farm economies are doing pretty well."
  • "Watch the savings rate, that's an indicator that we think is pretty important to have and understand how the economy is going to be moving for the next few months."
  • [Margin flowthrough] "It will continue to be strong.  We anticipate margin flow through, obviously when you take into the component taxes and our promotional spend, of around 50% or a little bit greater than 50% in most markets depending on the tax rate."
  • "As we start to see some lift out of the economy, I think you will see extraordinarily tight control on the variable cost increases that will drive a very high flow through rate."
  • [Bridge closure impact] "There are two other major bridges across the Missouri River within a couple of miles of the property, one to the North and one to the South. So, as Tom said, orange cones were going to create some impact to us. But there is a very sizeable population that lives on the St. Charles County side of the river as well as a substantial portion that lives on the St. Louis County side of the river.So, for some of those people that are going to our competitor in Maryland Heights that live in the St. Charles side of the river, they are going to have a more a difficult time getting over there and may well shift some of their allegiance to Ameristar. So, I think it's going to be a short-term situation, it's going to be a manageable situation, but it's not going to have the zero impact."
  • [Market share growth in East Chicago] "I think it's sustainable."

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