Monarch Casino & Resort Reports 2015 Second Quarter Results

MONARCH CASINO & RESORT REPORTS SECOND QUARTER NET REVENUE
OF $50.0 MILLION AND ADJUSTED EBITDA OF $12.5 MILLION


RENO, NV, - July 22, 2015 – Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc. (NASDAQ: MCRI) (“Monarch” or “the Company”) today reported operating results for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2015, as summarized below:
                            ----------------------------------------------- -----------------------------------------------
($ in thousands, except per        Three Months Ended				   Six Months Ended
 share data and percentage)             June 30,					June 30,
                                  2015             2014         Increase	  2015             2014         Increase
                            --------------   --------------   ------------- --------------   --------------   -------------
Net revenue (1)               $   50,013       $   47,803          4.6%       $   97,184       $   93,311          4.2%

Total Adjusted EBITDA(1)(2)       12,483           11,665          7.0%           23,358           21,952          6.4%

Net income                    $    5,099       $    3,024          68.6%      $    9,142       $    6,300         45.1%
                            ==============   ==============   ============= ==============   ==============   =============

Basic EPS                     $    0.30        $     0.18         66.7%       $     0.54       $     0.38         42.1%
Diluted EPS                   $    0.29        $     0.18         61.1%       $     0.53       $     0.37         43.2%
(1) Definitions, disclosures and reconciliations of non-GAAP financial information are included later in the release.
CEO Comment
John Farahi, Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Monarch, commented: “Our strong second quarter 2015 results reflect further improvement at both of our properties, particularly at Monarch Black Hawk which generated solid top-line growth. Consolidated net revenue for the quarter increased 4.6% and drove a 7.0% rise in Adjusted EBITDA as we benefited from our ongoing diligent focus on operating expense management and margin growth.
“In Reno, our business continues to gradually improve as the overall market shows signs of growth. While the promotional environment in Reno remains elevated, we intend to maintain our disciplined approach to marketing spending that attracts profitable play to Atlantis.
“In Black Hawk, we are very excited by the upgrade of the existing facility which will be fully completed and open to the public before the end of the current quarter. Visitors to the property can also see the progress we are making in construction of the new nine story parking structure.
“Despite the nearly 20% reduction in the number of slot machines on the casino floor to accommodate the ongoing construction, Monarch Black Hawk continues to deliver strong operating results which reflect both the healthy Denver market and our efforts to optimize the player experience. Moreover, the property is benefiting from the positive guest response to the facility enhancements completed as part of the first two phases of the upgrade. Upon completion of the third and final phase of the upgrade later this quarter, we plan to increase the number of slot machines on the floor from 565 to 705 and we’ll also expand our table game count from 9 to 14.
“The estimated total cost of the Monarch Black Hawk expansion, including the cost of the acquired land, new parking structure, hotel tower, expanded casino and additional restaurants remains projected at approximately $285-$295 million, of which $229-$234 million represents the expected cost to complete the hotel tower, expanded casino and additional restaurants. Through June 30, 2015, we have spent approximately $31 million on the expansion, primarily on the new parking structure, leaving remaining completion costs of approximately $254-$264 million. We expect to fund the remaining cost of the expansion from a combination of cash flow from operations and an increase in, or replacement of, our current credit facility.
“We believe that our 2015 second quarter results reflect Monarch’s overall disciplined approach toward attracting profitable play while managing costs and promotional activity. In addition, our results benefited from the efforts of our Black Hawk team as they successfully managed the ongoing challenge of construction disruption, which lead to improved operating results and market share growth.”
Summary of 2015 Second Quarter Operating Results
For the 2015 second quarter, consolidated net revenue of $50.0 million represented an increase of 4.6% year-over-year, driven primarily by solid revenue growth at Monarch Black Hawk. Revenue from the Company’s casino operations rose 6.3% on a year-over-year basis and food and beverage revenue rose 5.8% while hotel revenue declined 3.4%. Consolidated promotional allowance increased by $0.9 million or 8.4%.
The Company generated consolidated Adjusted EBITDA of $12.5 million in the second quarter of 2015, an increase of $0.8 million, or 7.0%, over the same period a year ago.
Casino operating expense as a percentage of casino revenue increased to 42.1% for the second quarter of 2015 compared to 41.7% in the second quarter of 2014. Food and beverage operating expense as a percentage of food and beverage revenue for the 2015 second quarter decreased to 39.5% from 42.0% in the 2014 second quarter. Hotel operating expense as a percentage of hotel revenue increased to 28.8% for the second quarter of 2015 compared to 28.2% for the same period in the prior year. The increase in casino operating expense as a percentage of revenue is due primarily to an increase in complimentaries expense while the increase in hotel operating expense as a percentage of hotel revenue is due primarily to lower hotel revenue.
Selling, general and administrative (“SG&A") expenses for the 2015 second quarter were essentially flat with the 2014 second quarter.
Monarch Black Hawk Expansion Update
Summarized below is an update on the Company’s ongoing upgrade and expansion of Monarch Black Hawk, including the expected costs and completion dates for the project as well as the amounts spent through June 30, 2015:
                      -----------------------------------------------------
$ in millions                      Total
                                   Spent
                                  Through
                                  June 30   Left to         Estimated
                          Cost      2015      Spend       Completion Date
                      ----------- -------- -----------  -------------------
I. Existing Facility
   Riviera Black Hawk 
     Casino (1)           $76        $76        -        Complete
   Existing Facility 
     Upgrade (2)(3)    $34 - $36     $17    $17 - $19    Interior Q3 2015;
                                                         Exterior 2015-2016
                      ----------- -------- -----------
     Total Existing
       Facility       $110 - $112    $93    $17 - $19
                      ----------- -------- -----------
II. Expansion
   Acquired Land 
     Parcels              $10        $10        -        Complete
   Parking Structure
     (3)               $38 - $41     $14    $24 - $27    Late 2015
   Hotel Tower & 
     Casino (4)       $229 - $234     -    $229 - $234   Late 2017
   Other (3)            $8 - $10      $7     $1 - $3     2016-2017
                      ----------- -------- -----------
     Total Expansion  $285 - $295    $31   $254 - $264
                      ----------- -------- -----------
     Total Cost       $395 - $407   $124   $271 - $283
                      =========== ======== ===========
(1) The Company paid $76.0 million cash or $69.2 million net of acquired working capital and NOLs when it acquired Riviera Black Hawk.
(2) Includes upgrade to exterior of existing facility to match the design of the master planned expansion.
(3) The Company expects to fund the amount left to spend primarily from operating cash flow and, to a lesser extent, from its credit facility.
(4) The Company anticipates funding the hotel tower and casino expansion from a combination of operating cash flow and an expansion or replacement of its credit facility.
During the second quarter of 2015, Monarch made further progress on the third and final phase of its existing facility upgrade, which is expected to be opened to the public in the current quarter. The Company also made further progress on construction of the facility’s new parking structure.
Credit Facility
The amount outstanding on the Company’s credit facility at June 30, 2015 of $42.2 million remained relatively flat with the $42.0 million balance outstanding as of the end of the first quarter. Capital expenditures of $7.4 million in the second quarter of 2015 were funded from operating cash flows and primarily represent costs related to the ongoing redesign and expansion project at Monarch Black Hawk.
Interest expense, net of amounts capitalized for the 2015 second quarter decreased to $0.2 million from $0.3 million in the second quarter of 2014 due to lower outstanding borrowings in the 2015 second quarter compared to the 2014 second quarter.
Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 which are subject to change, including, but not limited to, comments relating to (i) future operating performance; (ii) economic and market conditions and outlooks; (iii) plans, objectives and expectations regarding Monarch Black Hawk; and (iv) plans, costs, financing, construction, completion and opening timelines of redesigned and expanded facilities at Monarch Black Hawk. Actual results and future events and conditions may differ materially from those described in any forward-looking statements. With respect to the Monarch Black Hawk redesign and expansion projects, important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from estimates or projections contained in the forwardlooking statements include, without limitation:
  • construction factors, including delays, increased costs of labor and materials, availability of labor and materials, zoning issues, environmental restrictions, soil and water conditions, weather and other hazards, site access matters and building permit issues;
  • access to available and reasonable financing on a timely basis, including the ability of the Company to restructure its credit facility on acceptable terms;
  • changes in laws and regulations permitting expanded and other forms of gaming in our key markets; and
  • the effects of local and national economic, credit and capital market conditions on the economy, in general, and on the gaming industry, in particular.
Additional information concerning potential factors that could affect all forward looking statements, including the Company's financial results is included in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, which are available on the Company's website at www.MonarchCasino.com.
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Please see the separate Reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to Net Income (unaudited) below.
Adjusted EBITDA should not be construed as an alternative to operating income (as determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles), as an indicator of the Company's operating performance, as an alternative to cash flows from operating activities (as determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles) or as a measure of liquidity. This item enables comparison of the Company's performance with the performance of other companies that report Adjusted EBITDA, although some companies do not calculate this measure in the same manner and therefore, the measure as presented may not be comparable to similarly titled measures presented by other companies.
About Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc.
Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc., through its subsidiaries, owns and operates the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, a hotel/casino facility in Reno, Nevada, and the Monarch Casino Black Hawk (formerly the Riviera Black Hawk Casino) in Black Hawk, Colorado, approximately 40 miles west of Denver. For additional information on Monarch, visit Monarch's website at www.MonarchCasino.com..
The Atlantis features approximately 61,000 square feet of casino space; 824 guest rooms; eight food outlets; two espresso and pastry bars; a 30,000 square foot health spa and salon with an enclosed year-round pool; two retail outlets offering clothing and traditional gift shop merchandise; an 8,000 square-foot family entertainment center; and approximately 52,000 square feet of banquet, convention and meeting room space. The casino features approximately 1,450 slot and video poker machines; approximately 37 table games, including blackjack, craps, roulette, and others; a race and sports book; a 24-hour live keno lounge; and a poker room.
The Company acquired Monarch Black Hawk, the first casino encountered by visitors arriving from Denver on Highway 119, in April 2012. The property features approximately 32,000 square feet of casino space, approximately 710 slot machines (temporarily reduced to approximately 560 to accommodate redesign and upgrade work on the facility), 9 table games, a 250 seat buffet-style restaurant, a snack bar and a parking structure with approximately 500 spaces. Once completed, the Monarch Black Hawk expansion will nearly double the casino space and will add a 23 story hotel tower with approximately 500 guest rooms and suites, an upscale spa and pool facility, three restaurants (bringing the total to four restaurants), additional bars, a new parking structure and associated support facilities. The planned nine story parking structure will increase total parking on site from approximately 500 spaces to approximately 1,500 parking spaces.


Contacts:
Ron Rowan
Chief Financial Officer
775/825-4700 or rrowan@monarchcasino.com

Joseph Jaffoni, Richard Land, James Leahy
JCIR
212/835-8500 or mcri@jcir.com
- financial tables follow -
                       MONARCH CASINO & RESORT, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
                         CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
                            (In thousands, except per share data)
                                         (unaudited)

                                                    Three Months Ended		 Six Months Ended
                                                         June 30,		     June 30,	
                                                --------------------------- ---------------------------
                                                     2015         2014		 2015         2014
                                                ------------- ------------- ------------- -------------
Revenues
    Casino                                      $     38,551  $     36,264  $     75,990  $     72,298
    Food and beverage                                 13,975        13,205        27,078        25,470
    Hotel                                              5,828         6,031        10,565        10,675
    Other                                              2,668         2,455         5,268         4,934
                                                ------------- ------------- ------------- -------------
        Gross revenues                                61,022        118,901       118,901      113,377
Less promotional allowances                          (11,009)      (10,152)      (21,717)     (20,066)
                                                ------------- ------------- ------------- -------------
        Net revenues                                  50,013        47,803        97,184        93,311
                                                ------------- ------------- ------------- -------------
Operating expenses
    Casino                                            16,228        15,117 	  32,564        30,139 
    Food and beverage                                  5,524         5,543 	  10,743        10,514 
    Hotel                                              1,676         1,700         3,195         3,084 
    Other                                              1,114           912         2,048         1,787 
    Selling, general and administrative               13,317        13,180        25,896        26,411 
    Depreciation and amortization                      4,108         4,630         8,239         9,324
    Gain on disposition of assets                         (2)          249           (20)          249
    Colorado ballot initiative costs                       -         1,004             -         1,004 
                                                ------------- ------------- ------------- -------------
        Total operating expenses                      41,965        42,335        82,665        82,512
                                                ------------- ------------- ------------- -------------
        Income from operations                         8,048         5,468         14,519       10,799
                                                ------------- ------------- ------------- -------------
Other expenses
    Interest expense, net of amounts capitalized        (181)         (274)         (400)         (561)
                                                ------------- ------------- ------------- -------------
        Total other expense                             (181)         (274)         (400)         (561)  
        Income before income taxes                     7,867         5,194         14,119        10,238
                                                ------------- ------------- ------------- -------------
Provision for income taxes                            (2,768)       (2,170)       (4,977)       (3,938)
                                                ------------- ------------- ------------- -------------
        Net income                               $     5,099   $     3,024   $     9,142   $     6,300
                                                ============= ============= ============= =============
Earnings per share of common stock
    Net income
        Basic                                    $      0.30   $      0.18   $      0.54   $      0.38
        Diluted                                  $      0.29   $      0.18   $      0.53   $      0.37

Weighted average number of common
    shares and potential common
    shares outstanding
        Basic                                         16,894        16,788        16,858        16,663
        Diluted                                       17,302        17,104        17,250        17,165




               MONARCH CASINO & RESORT, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
                    CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
                        (In thousands, except shares)

                                                    June 30,   December 31,
                                                ---------------------------
                                                     2015         2014
                                                ------------- -------------
                                                 (unaudited)
ASSETS
Current assets
    Cash and cash equivalents                    $    19,848   $    21,583
    Receivables, net                                   3,095         3,047
    Income taxes receivable                            1,937         1,139
    Inventories                                        2,588         2,846
    Prepaid expenses                                   4,064         4,021
    Deferred income taxes                              1,626         1,626
                                                ------------- -------------
        Total current assets                          33,158        34,262
                                                ------------- -------------
Property and equipment
    Land                                              29,415        29,415
    Land improvements                                  6,701         6,701
    Buildings                                        150,771       150,821
    Buildings improvements                            20,027        18,142
    Furniture & equipment                            127,285       125,671
    Construction in progress                          26,040        15,672
    Leasehold improvements                             1,347         1,347
                                                ------------- -------------
                                                     361,586       347,769
    Less accumulated depreciation 
        and amortization                            (173,773)     (167,498)
                                                ------------- -------------
        Net property and equipment                   187,813       180,271

Other assets
        Goodwill                                      25,111        25,111 
        Intangible assets, net                         6,783         7,366
        Deferred income taxes                          4,682         4,682
        Other assets, net                                457           609
                                                ------------- -------------
    Total other assets                                37,033        37,768
                                                ------------- -------------
        Total assets                             $   258,004   $   252,301
                                                ============= =============

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

Current liabilities
    Accounts payable                             $     6,434   $     7,933
    Construction accounts payable                      2,232         1,790
    Accrued expenses                                  18,497        19,327
                                                    ------------- -------------
        Total current liabilities                     27,163        29,050
Long-term debt                                        42,200        46,300
                                                ------------- -------------
        Total liabilities                             69,363        75,350
                                                ------------- -------------

Stockholders' equity
    Preferred stock, $.01 par value, 
      10,000,000 shares authorized; none issued            -             -
    Common stock, $.01 par value,
      30,000,000 shares authorized; 
      19,096,300 shares issued;
      16,976,356 outstanding at June 30, 2015; 
      16,812,794 outstanding at December 31, 2014        191           191 
    Additional paid-in capital                        22,853        22,985
    Treasury stock, 2,119,944 shares at 
      June 30, 2015; 2,283,506 shares                (30,290)      (32,970)
      at December 31, 2014
    Retained earnings                                195,887       186,745
                                                ------------- -------------
        Total stockholders' equity                   188,641       176,951
                                                ------------- -------------
        Total liability and 
        stockholder's equity                     $   258,004   $   252,301
                                                ============= =============



               Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc. and Subsidiaries
              Reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to Net Income
                         (In thousands, unaudited)

  The following table sets forth a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA, a 
   non-GAAP financial measure, to net income, a GAAP financial measure:

                                                Three months ended June 30,  Six months ended June 30,
                                                ---------------------------  ---------------------------
                                                     2015         2014            2015         2014
                                                ------------- -------------  ------------- -------------
        Total Adjusted EBITDA                    $    12,483   $    11,665    $    23,358   $    21,952

Expenses
    Stock based compensation                            (329)         (314)          (620)         (576)
    Depreciation and amortization                     (4,108)       (4,630)        (8,239)       (9,324)
    Colorado ballot initiative costs                       -        (1,004)             -        (1,004)
    Interest expense                                    (181)         (274)          (400)         (561)
    Gain on disposition of assets                           2         (249)             20         (249) 
    Provision for income taxes                        (2,768)       (2,170)        (4,977)       (3,938)
                                                ------------- -------------  ------------- -------------
    Net income                                   $     5,099   $     3,024    $     9,142   $     6,300
                                                ============= =============  ============= =============
(1) Adjusted EBITDA, a non-GAAP financial measure, consists of net income plus loss on disposal of assets, provision for income taxes, stock based compensation expense, other one-time charges, interest expense, depreciation and amortization less interest income, any benefit for income taxes and gain on disposal of assets. Adjusted EBITDA should not be construed as an alternative to operating income (as determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles) as an indicator of the Company's operating performance, as an alternative to cash flows from operating activities (as determined in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles) or as a measure of liquidity. This item enables comparison of the Company's performance with the performance of other companies that report Adjusted EBITDA, although some companies do not calculate this measure in the same manner and therefore, the measure as presented may not be comparable to similarly titled measures presented by other companies.
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