Record Quarter for Mandalay Resorts

Updated from Dec. 2

Mandalay Resort Group ( MBG) shares edged higher early Friday after the casino company late Thursday reported strong profit growth for its third quarter, citing booming business at its Las Vegas casinos.

The Las Vegas-based company reported net income of $67.1 million, or 99 cents a share, in the quarter ended Oct. 31, up 65% from $40.6 million, or 63 cents a share, a year earlier.

Shares rose 31 cents, or 0.4%, to $70 in premarket trading.

The company said recurring earnings, not including one-time items, were $1.04 a share, crushing the average Wall Street analyst estimate of 88 cents. Items included a gain of $8.2 million, or 8 cents a share, from an accounting change related to the company's jackpot reserves; merger-related costs of $6.6 million, or 10 cents a share; and a charge of $3.4 million, or 3 cents a share, related to the amortization of deferred income. Results were also affected by higher health care costs.

Revenue was $720.3 million, up from $625.6 million a year earlier, better than the $691.4 million average analyst expectation from Thomson First Call.

Hotel and game revenue grew strongly at the company's Las Vegas Strip resorts. Revenue per available room, a key metric known as revpar, grew 18% at those properties, while casino revenue rose 14%. "All of the company's Strip properties, including the Monte Carlo, reported record third-quarter results, with the third quarter marking the sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit percentage increases," said Glenn Schaeffer, the company's CFO.

The company has agreed to be acquired by MGM Mirage ( MGG) for $4.8 billion in cash. MGM expects to complete the acquisition by the end of next year's first quarter.

In a conference call, Mandalay executives declined to comment on the merger.

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