Vail Resorts reports wider first-quarter loss | AspenTimes.com

Vail Resorts reports wider first-quarter loss

The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado

BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Vail Resorts Inc. reported Wednesday that its loss widened in its fiscal first quarter, reflecting weaker real estate sales and seasonal losses at a resort that it acquired just over a year ago.

With ski season is just beginning, the company that runs ski resorts, luxury hotels and condominiums said it is cautiously optimistic given the broader uncertainty in the economy. It said season pass sales, lodging bookings and retail sales are all up and that the addition of several new restaurants and retailers should help.

Vail Resorts reported a net loss of $55.7 million, or $1.54 per share, for the quarter that ended Oct. 31. That’s compared with a net loss of $43 million, or $1.20 per share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

Revenue fell to $116.4 million from $241.2 million due to a weak quarter for its real estate business.

The loss matched what analysts surveyed by FactSet had forecast while revenue beat the average estimate of $97.2 million.

The company reported that revenue from real estate, which can be highly volatile due to timing of deals, fell to $13.1 million from $149.3 million a year ago. It sold fewer condominium and other properties than in the prior year.

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Revenue from its lodging and mountain businesses improved on late summer visitors to its sites and the benefit of acquiring the Northstar at Tahoe resort in October of 2010.

But earnings were hurt because of seasonal losses at Northstar for the full August-October quarter this year.

Vail Resorts said it expects to earn $30 million to $40 million for the 2012 fiscal year. Analysts expect earnings of $38.5 million for the year.

The company also declared a quarterly dividend of 15 cents per share to be paid Jan. 6 to shareholders of record on Dec. 22.

Vail resorts shares rose 5 cents to $45.49 in midday trading Wednesday.