Vail Resorts quarterly earnings down, but remains bullish for 2012

Vail Resorts reported lower revenue and a steeper loss for its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended July 31, 2011. But the company reported higher revenue and profit for its full fiscal 2011 year and remained bullish for 2012 based on early indicators.
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Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN) reported less revenue and a steeper loss for its fiscal 2011 fourth quarter, but ended the full fiscal year with higher revenue and profit and remained bullish for 2012.

The Broomfield, Colo.-based ski resort company reported quarterly revenue of $108.7 million for the period ended July 31, 2011 – a 25 percent drop from a year ago due to lower real estate revenue, while its mountain and lodging revenue rose.

Vail’s quarterly net loss widened to $53.9 million, or a loss of $1.49 per share, compared to a net loss of $41.9 million, or a loss of $1.16 per share, during the same period a year ago. Vail CEO Rob Katz said the larger loss was due to seasonal losses at Northstar-at-Tahoe, which Vail acquired in October 2010.

Katz remained upbeat looking ahead, saying that 2011/12 season pass sales were up 9 percent in sales dollars (the company increased most of its pass rates from a year ago) and up 1 percent in units as of Sept. 20, 2011.

For its full fiscal 2011 year, Vail increased revenue by 30 percent to $1.17 billion with the Northstar-at-Tahoe acquisition and its net profit rose to $34.5 million, or $0.94 per share, compared to $30.4 million, or $0.83 per share a year ago.

Excluding the Northstar-at-Tahoe acquisition, Vail’s 2011 lift ticket revenue rose 7.7 percent and its total visitation grew 4.1 percent, with the greatest increase at Vail and Keystone resorts, officials said.

Vail’s retail and rental operations increased 6.8 percent to $10.5 million during its fiscal 2011, excluding Northstar-at-Tahoe, driven by sales at its Colorado Front Range stores and Any Mountain stores in the San Francisco Bay area.

In conjunction with the earnings release Sept. 22, 2011, Vail’s board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.15 per share, payable Oct. 27, 2011 to shareholders of record on Oct. 12, 2011.

Vail Resorts owns Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Heavenly and Northstar-at-Tahoe ski resorts.

-- David Clucas

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