Caesars Entertainment Corp’s (CEC) Q4 loss was ten-times worse than analysts’ predictions.
Net loss for the period was $435 million, compared to $39 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, mainly due to a $426 million accrual related to the restructuring of its bankrupt operating unit Caesars Operating Corp (CEOC), the company said.
Analysts polled by FactSet had expected a net loss of 37-cents-a-share, rather than the $3.88 per share loss Caesars reported Tuesday.
Net operating losses across the whole year were $2.7 billion, thanks to $5.7 billion paid in accruals for CEOC.
Looking on the Bright Side
Caesars has become accustomed to putting a positive spin on these things, and so here it is. Mark Frissora, President and Chief Executive Officer of Caesars Entertainment, praised a “second consecutive year of solid operational improvement and margin expansion driven by strong performance in Las Vegas, our largest market, and continued productivity improvements.”
Frissora added that Caesars had generated record full year cash hotel revenues, due to the renovation of over 8,000 rooms since 2014. But this is not the only reason for Caesars to be cheerful.
In January a bankruptcy judge in Chicago approved CEOC’s reorganization plan, bringing an end to two years of bitter disputes with creditors as the company struggled to emerge from one of the most complex bankruptcies in a generation.
Under the terms of the plan, CEOC will shave $10 billion off its $18 billion industry-high debt, while separating its US-based property assets from its gaming operations as it’s spun off into a real-estate investment trust.
Parent company Caesars Entertainment, meanwhile, will merge with subsidiary, Caesars Acquisition Co (CACQ.O), with a view to regrouping its casinos and hotels together.
With CEOC emerging from bankruptcy sometime this year, Fissora said the group would now focus on generating cash flow, growth and value for its investors.
“This year, we intend to deliver additional cash flow and margin improvements while completing CEOC’s restructuring,” he said. “These actions will allow us to continue to generate more value for our stakeholders as we execute against our long-term plan.”
CEC net revenues increased 2.8 percent to $3.9 billion, while adjusted EBITDA rose 8.6 percent to $1.1 billion, driven by net revenue increases and efficiency initiatives.
EBITDA is considered to be a measure of the company’s performance and ignores things like interest payments and corporate expenses, which suggests that, minus upheaval of debt, bankruptcy and reorganization, Caesars is heading in the right direction.