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Big Miss at Station Casinos

The company's Red Rock in Las Vegas cannibalizes demand at its existing properties in the city.

Station Casinos

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widely missed analysts' estimates for the third quarter, as its popular Red Rock casino in Las Vegas cannibalized demand from existing properties the company owns in the city.

Profits for the quarter fell to $19.2 million, or 34 cents a share, from $39 million, or 56 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

On an adjusted basis, earnings totaled 38 cents a share, falling 13 cents short of the consensus estimate by Thomson First Call.

Results were dragged down by lower margins at Red Rock, a flashy casino that opened earlier this year and quickly became the most popular gambling destination for local residents in the Las Vegas market.

Since Red Rock opened, investors have known that the casino was hurting competitor

Boyd Gaming's

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results in that market.

But now it's clear that Red Rock is hurting the rest of Station's portfolio as well.

Same-store sales at the company's properties, excluding Red Rock, fell 1% from last year.

Overall, net revenue for the company rose 25% to $346 million, just missing Wall Street estimates for $350.7 million.

The company's EBITDA margins at its Las Vegas properties fell to 33% in the quarter, down from 41% a year earlier.

Station also lowered its guidance for the fourth quarter and 2007.

The company now expects earnings per share of 41 cents to 51 cents in the fourth quarter, down from its previous forecast of 59 cents to 64 cents.

Next year, the company expects earnings of $2 to $2.43 a share, well below its prior guidance of $2.53 to $2.95.