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4th Quarter Results for Ameristar Casinos Incorporated

On February 15th, 2009, Ameristar Casinos Incorporated announced the financial results for the 4th quarter and year ended December 31st, 2008. Gordon Kanofsky, Ameristar's Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman stated that as a result of their focus on improving operating and advertisement efficiencies, Ameristar earned a $1.9 million improvement in Adjusted EBITDA in the 4th quarter, despite a $9.1 million drop in net revenues.

Kanofsky added that getting improved year-by-year adjusted EBITDA in this difficult times was a result of their seamless implementation of their management initiatives, which are on track to produce yearly savings of approximately $45 million. Kanofsky said that aside from their improved management efficiencies, the approval of the Missouri Proposition A and the Amendment 50 approval in Colorado in November 2008 improved the position of Ameristar.

Initial results from the removal of Missouri's loss limit and other related changes have been positive, as shown by the twelve percent year-by-year improvement in casino table games drop at their two Missouri establishments in December 2008. The success of the Black Hawk Referendum ensures their capability of implementing the changes under the Amendment 50 and implementing them on July 2nd, 2009.

Ameristar's consolidated net revenues for the 4th quarter dropped by 3.0%, from $302.8 million in 2007 to $293.6 million in 2008, mostly because of the economic recession that has affected all of Ameristar's casino properties and Colorado smoking ban, which has affected Ameristar's Black Hawk casino. However, the company's Vicksburg and St. Charles casino properties improved 4th quarter earnings by 4.2% and 3.3% respectively, over the same time in 2007, as each casino property benefited from vital expansion projects finished in 2008.

During the 4th quarter, the organization achieved a non-cash impairment charge of $185.5 million ($109.7 million on after-tax basis) for assets related to the East Chicago property acquisition. Kanofsky said that they believe that there is a long-term improvement potential for Ameristar in the Chicago gaming market. He said that evaluation of the property's assets, which follows the evaluation made in the 1st quarter of 2008, was influenced by the crumbling capital market as well as the economic recession and its anticipated effect on the financial results of Ameristar's East Chicago property in the near term.

Ameristar's consolidated Adjusted EBITDA for the 4th quarter of 2008 improved to $68.6 million, compared to $66.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. Ameristar expects better results for the rest of the year.


03/22/2009 19:48 PM


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