Vail Resorts, Inc. (MTN - Free Report) reported narrower-than-expected results in first-quarter fiscal 2019. Adjusted loss of $2.43 per share was narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of $2.44. However, it compared unfavorably with the year-ago quarter’s loss of $2. However, on a GAAP basis, the company reported a net loss of $2.66 per share.
Earnings were affected by high operating expenses in Resorts and both the Mountain and Lodging segments.
Quarterly revenues of $220 million missed the consensus mark by 6.3% and declined 0.5% year over year. Following the results, shares of the company lost as much as 17.9% on Dec 7.
In conjunction with the earnings release, the company announced plans to invest about $175-$180 million with an aim to improve guest experience in the 2019-20 winter ski and snowboard season. Meanwhile, the company has spent more than $1.2 billion over the last decade. The company will implement new technology to improve direct-to-lift access at Vail, Beaver Creek and Keystone.
Vail Resorts has two reporting segments — Mountain (65.9% in first-quarter fiscal 2019) and Lodging (32.4%).
The Mountain segment reported revenues of $145 million in the quarter, down 2.1% year over year. The revenue decline can be primarily attributed to decrease in the average Australian exchange rate as compared to the prior year.
Under the segment, EBITDA loss was $76.4 million compared with $58.4 million in the prior-year quarter. Operating expenses at the Mountain segment were $222.4 million, up 7.4% year over year.
Lodging net revenues in the reported quarter amounted to $74.9 million, up 3.9% year over year. Lodging revenues were favored by an increase in sales across owned hotel rooms, managed condominium rooms, dining, golf and other, partially offset by a drop in transportation sales.
Under the segment, EBITDA was $3.9 million compared with $4.4 million in the prior-year quarter. Operating expenses at the Lodging segment increased 4.8% year over year to $71 million.
Vail Resorts, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise
Vail Resorts’ resort reported EBITDA loss was $72.5 million in the reported quarter compared with $54.1 million a year ago.
Resort operating expenses totaled $293.4 million, up 6.8% year over year.
Total segment operating expenses increased 6.6% year over year to $294.7 million.
Cash and cash equivalents as of Oct 31, 2018, came in at $141 million compared with $140.4 million as of Oct 31, 2017.
Net long-term debt as of Oct 31, 2018, was $1,486.9 million compared with $1,262.3 million as of Oct 31, 2017.
The company announced a quarterly cash dividend of $1.47 per share, which will be payable on Jan 10, 2019, to shareholders on record as of Dec 27, 2018.
In the first quarter of fiscal 2019, the company repurchased 197,896 shares at an average price of $252.66 for a total of approximately $50 million.
Fiscal 2019 Guidance
For fiscal 2019, Vail Resorts’ resort reported EBIDTA is estimated at $718-$750 million.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Vail Resorts currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
A few better-ranked stocks from the leisure space include Hudson Ltd. (HUD - Free Report) , Manchester United plc (MANU - Free Report) and Reading International, Inc. (RDI - Free Report) , sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Hudson has an expected earnings growth rate of 104.6% for the current year.
Manchester United has an expected earnings growth rate of 53.9% for the current quarter.
Reading International reported better-than-expected earnings in three of the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 11.5%.
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