Friday, February 5, 2010

Mohegan Gaming Authority Reports Sliver Of Profit In First Quarter

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The Mohegan Gaming Authority today reported $4.4 million in net income, or profit, for the three-month period of November through December compared to a $3.8 million loss for the same three months in 2008.

Gaming revenue, which is the total money lost by customers and represents the largest source of MTGA revenue, dropped 5.2 percent when compared to the same period in the prior year. Total gaming revenue was $307 million for the three-month period. The drop in slot revenue for the three months was 5.1 percent while table game revenue fell by 5.7 percent. Non-gaming revenue, money spent by customers before any expenses are considered, declined 11.9 percent.

Interest expense was $28.5 million for the three-month period compared to $27.7 million for the same period in the prior year. ¨The weighted average outstanding debt was $1.67 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2009 compared to $1.63 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2008,¨ MTGA´s press release notes. ¨The weighted average interest rate was 6.8% for the quarter ended December 31, 2009 compared to 6.9% for the quarter ended December 31, 2008.¨

MTGA´s figures include those of the Mohegan Sun and the Tribe´s slot parlor in Pennsylvania.

Also in the press release, MTGA says it wants 82 table games in Pennsylvania. MTGA´s press release continues, ¨The Authority plans to renovate the existing Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs facility to accommodate the operation of 82 table games. Total costs for this renovation are forecast to be approximately $17.9 million, inclusive of $2.0 million in pre-opening costs and expenses. The renovation will include the relocation of approximately 300 slot machines to a new gaming area, or the Grove, the addition of the 82 table games, including poker, blackjack, roulette and craps in the vacated slot area, the renovation of the lower level of the racing grandstand to accommodate the addition of poker, the recruitment and training of approximately 500 new employees and the acquisition of all other requisite gaming equipment to support the renovation. Total project costs, including the one-time table games authorization fee, are forecast to be approximately $34.4 million. The Authority plans to open the renovated gaming areas during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010.¨

The press release is silent on when MTGA may write-off or write-down money spent onthe hotel construction that has been stalled since September 2008. ¨As of December 31, 2009, $76.4 million of assets related to the suspended elements (of Project Horizon) were included within construction in process.¨

The $4.4 million in profit does not reflect monies sent by MTGA to the Tribal government during the quarter, which was $27.3 million.

A conference call with between financial analysts and MTGA is scheduled for 3 p.m. this afternoon.