ACE Lifts Golden in Fourth Quarter

Golden Entertainment reported a doubling of EBITDA on a 75 percent surge in fourth quarter revenue to $184.4 million, boosted by last year’s acquisition of Las Vegas’ Stratosphere (l.) and Arizona Charlie’s casinos. The company believes the deal will pay off still more and is investing $140 million on upgrades to the Stratosphere.

ACE Lifts Golden in Fourth Quarter

The acquisition of American Casino & Entertainment Properties helped lift Golden Entertainment’s fourth-quarter revenue by 75 percent year on year to $184.4 million.

Adjusted EBITDA more than doubled for the 12 weeks ended December 31 to $29 million from $12.2 million, boosted by revenue growth at the four American Casino resorts and Golden’s Rocky Gap casino in Maryland.

Golden posted $13.4 million net loss for the period, or 53 cents per diluted share (Nasdaq: GDEN), mainly attributable to costs associated with the $850 million American Casino acquisition, which closed in October and added Las Vegas’ Stratosphere and Arizona Charlie’s casino hotels and Laughlin’s Aquarius casino to the Golden portfolio.

Likewise, costs stemming from the acquisition contributed to a decline in earnings for the full year, from $16.2 million in 2016 to $2.1 million, but boosted the top line by 26 percent to $509 million in revenue for the year.

“Golden has multiple paths for growth, both organically and through (mergers and acquisitions), and we are positioned for another year of strong results,” CEO Blake Sartini said.

Underscoring his confidence, the company announced a $140 million makeover of the Stratosphere, highlighted by upgrades to half the property hotel rooms, 1,100 in all, and the addition of conventions and meetings space. The work will be completed in three phases over the next three years and includes renovations on the casino floor, the addition of a new pub-style restaurant linked to a new race and sports book, both opening this year, and new signage.

“By the time we are done we will have touched every part of the property inside and out and added new amenities,” Sartini said.