NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Casino first-quarter earnings showed some big winners and losers.
MGM Resorts (MGM) narrowed its first-quarter loss, as revenue rose slightly. The news sent shares of the stock soaring, with MGM gaining more than 10% since it reported results on Wednesday.During the quarter, MGM lost $89.9 million, or 18 cents a share, compared with a loss of $96.7 million, or 22 cents, for MGM in the year-ago period. Excluding items, MGM actually lost 16 cents a share, better than the loss of 19 cents analysts' predicted. Revenue jumped 3% to $1.5 billion, matching Wall Street's outlook. The boost in revenue came from an increase in room prices and occupancy rates, as well as improvement in its convention business. "MGM showed how it can monetize as the environment improves and we were most pleased to see its lower-tier Strip properties show performance, rather than just one or two assets doing so," Bain wrote. Its CityCenter property also beats investors' low expectations, and at least appears to have turned a corner. In Macau, where MGM has a joint-venture with Pansy Ho, its share of operating income improved to $62 million compared with $26 million last year. MGM Resorts said it had $12.3 billion in debt as of March 31 and $431.3 million in cash. The company's potential upcoming Hong Kong initial public offering has been a major focus for investors, with some speculating the deal could raise as much as $1 billion. In April, the casino operator founded by billionaire Kirk Kerkorian said that partner Pansy Ho will sell as much as 23% of MGM China Holdings in an initial public offering and another 1% to MGM Resorts. This sale would boost MGM's stake in the company to 51%. Gaining control would give MGM the opportunity to consolidate its Macau operations on its books.
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