Ski resort operator

Vail

(MTN) - Get Report

reported on Dec. 9 that its first-quarter fiscal 2009 loss widened but revenue from the real estate segment expanded more than five times.

Net loss increased to $34.50 million or $0.93 per share from $24.61 million or $0.63 per share in first-quarter 2008, which included a hefty one-time gain. The latest quarterly consensus estimate was a loss of $0.83 per share.

Revenue surged 56.1% to $152.78 million from $97.89 million, mainly due to a substantial increase in real estate revenue to $66.75 million from $12.03 million, despite a slowdown in the overall economy. The company closed 39 of its 45 Crystal Peak Lodge units in Breckenridge and a lodge at Vail Chalet.

Following the end of the first quarter, the company closed three Crystal Peak Lodge units, two lodges at Vail Chalet and an Arrabelle unit. In the second quarter of fiscal 2009, the company plans to close four Chalet units, with the remaining units expected to close during the third quarter, due to the extensive nature of the buyer upgrades associated with this unit.

Vail also repurchased 278,400 shares during the quarter under review, at an average price of $26.63 per share for a total of $7.40 million. Revenue from the mountain segment fell 4.1% to $40.78 million from $42.54 million, while lodging increased 4.5% to $45.25 million from $43.32 million.

Looking ahead to 2009, the company maintains its outlook and expects its earnings to be in the range of $60.00-$76.00 million, down from $102.90 million the previous year. Management has also suggested that it might miss its expectations if bookings do not improve in the short term.

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