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Solid quarter and secular margin thesis remains intact. Management says all the right things on the conference call. Here are our notes.

 

"Year-over-year improvements in second quarter total revenues and Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA reflect a full quarter's contribution from River City and initial benefits of a strategy focused on achieving company-wide operating excellence and best-in-market guest experiences. Our teams are already achieving success with multiple initiatives, which helped drive higher Adjusted EBITDA margins in five of our six markets."

- Anthony Sanfilippo, president and chief executive officer

 

CONF CALL NOTES

  • Less interested in masses and more interested in "profitable customers."
  • The margin improvement that they saw this quarter is just the beginning of their efficiency efforts. Want to get to a level where they balance great guest service and efficiency.
  • Removing non-value added assets
  • Focused on maximizing free cash flow
  • They are exploring future potential growth opportunities
  • They have not seen any impact from the oil spill in the Gulf
  • They are refining their design in Baton Rouge. Will have a very high quality casino in that location.  Believes that a lot of customers in the Baton Rouge area don't game there because there are no "attractive" facilities there. Even if TX legalizes gaming they don't believe that Baton Rouge would be impacted.
  • Look at Texas as a potential gaming market - if it does develop, they would want to be there.
  • Food and beverage is margins are going to improve going forward and will be more consistent with higher volume.
  • They overstaffed in River City and had a worker's comp claim there too. Will be fixed over the next quarter or 2. 
  • Have over $500MM of liquidity at the company today
  • Maintenance capex was $10MM in the quarter and $22MM for the first 6 months
  • Atlantic City - engaged a broker to sell the site.  Pleased to see that some land traded in AC (MGM land). Hopeful that they will be able to sell the land within a quarter or two.
  • Ramp up in St. Louis will take them 2-3 quarters. They aren't interested in unprofitable revenues
  • They are taking a close look at their properties to see if they have the right mix of products on their floor
    • This should be good for new slot orders

Q&A

  • Which properties have the most margin upside?
    • All of them have room for improvement
    • Belterra: they continue to have new and expanded competition all around them. Trying to figure out who the right customer for that facility is. 
    • New Orleans: Have a new GM there. Very focused on the West Bank. Struggle with the second floor of that facility which customers don't want to access - so they are trying to improve the first floor.
    • Reno: finally turned a profit
    • Looking at taking cost out of corporate that get allocated to the properties
    • Thinks that the largest opportunity is at L'Auberge
  • How overstaffed was River City (RC) and what was unusual in the quarter?
    • They are down a few hundred people from when they first opened
    • They haven't been aggressively marketing, although their competitors have been
    • They are putting the parking garage on hold. They are looking to added a covered parking valet area before winter hits.
    • They are focused on putting together a focused marketing strategy
  • They are rebuilding their IT database; they are looking at all of the systems/ processes/ reward process.  They are at very early stages. Do think that the new systems will allow them to make better marketing decisions. They currently don't have a CRM system.
  • Any other AC land transactions recently, aside from MGM?
    • No. They recognize that they there will be a material discount to what they purchased the land for.
    • They will be taking a capital loss to use for later 
  • Tax rate going forward? maybe 10% or less
  • Corporate expense going forward - should roughly be inline with 1Q2010