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) --

Isle of Capri Casinos


is plunging following a surprise loss in its first-quarter.

The regional casino operator lost $2.7 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with a profit of $905,000, or 3 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts were looking for a profit of 11 cents a share.

Revenue dropped 2% to $259.2 million, also lower than Wall Street's forecast of $262.5 million.

"We obviously cannot control the national economy, we were successful in managing costs through this period, and continue to remain focused on keeping our balance sheet strong to wade through this economic cycle and capitalize on opportunities for growth," Dale Black, senior vice president and chief financial officer, said in a statement.

Shares of Isle of Capri are tanking 16% to $7.46 in afternoon trading.

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--Written by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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