Why Caesars Entertainment (CZR) Is Lower on Wednesday

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Caesars Entertainment (CZR) is trading lower on Wednesday after reporting a wider-than-expected net loss on weak performance in its Atlantic City properties and the sale of assets.

By late afternoon, shares had taken off 7% to $23.79.

The Las Vegas-based company recorded a quarterly net loss of $12.83 a share in the three months to December. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast a narrower loss of $1.49 a share.

The casino-entertainment provider reported a loss of $1.75 billion for continuing operations, 302% wider than the year-ago quarter.

Losses were attributable to "deteriorating market conditions in Atlantic City" and "potential changes in the expected useful life of certain of our property assets," the company said in a statement.

Earlier in the month, management warned investors of losses as it completes asset sales, including Bally's Las Vegas and The Quad, to its 58%-owned firm Caesars Growth Partners.

"During 2013 we invested significantly in our properties and executed a number of initiatives to enhance the company's capital structure and better position the company for sustainable growth," said CEO Gary Loveman in a statement. "The recently announced asset sale to Caesars Growth Partners further supports these objectives by increasing liquidity at our CEOC subsidiary and facilitating new investment in some of the assets."

Revenue of $2.08 billion was up more than 3% year on year, but missed estimates by $42 million.

"While the operating environment remained challenging in the fourth quarter, we are encouraged by volume and visitation trends in our core market of Las Vegas. We are excited about our prospects here fueled by organic growth and continued investments in hospitality assets," added Loveman.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT CORP as a Sell with a ratings score of D. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT CORP (CZR) a SELL. This is driven by a number of negative factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its deteriorating net income, weak operating cash flow and feeble growth in its earnings per share."

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