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Colorado Springs gaming company reports huge earnings jump in 2013

April 1, 2014 Updated: April 1, 2014 at 4:48 pm
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Century Casino in Cripple Creek. Photo by CENTURY CASINOS

Century Casinos Inc. blames summer flooding and winter storms for 2013 earnings that fell just short of stock analysts' forecasts, despite jumping 51 percent from a year earlier.

The Colorado Springs-based company reported Monday that it earned $6.18 million, or 26 cents a share, last year, up sharply from $4.09 million, or 17 cents a share, in 2012. Still, that's a penny a share less than forecast by the two stock analysts who follow Century: Bryan Maher of Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC and Justin Ruiss of Sidoti & Co. LLC.

Century's earnings surged from a year earlier because it doubled its stake in a company that operates nine casinos in Poland and started including those results in its financials.

For the fourth quarter of last year, Century lost $211,000, or 1 cent a share, despite a 66 percent jump in operating revenue. The company earned $624,000, or 3 cents a share, during the fourth quarter of 2012. The two analysts had expected the company to earn 5 cents a share in the October-to-December period.

"Our business performed behind expectations, mostly because of unusual external challenges such as the devastating floods in Colorado and Calgary in the summer and the strong storms in the winter," Century's co-CEOs, Erwin Haitzmann and Peter Hoetzinger, said in a news release.

Profits at Century's Cripple Creek casino remained barely in the black in the fourth quarter, but were up 18 percent for all of 2013 to $100,000, despite a small decline in operating revenue during both periods, the company said.

Much of the company's profits for last year were driven by its casinos in Edmonton and Calgary.

Besides the Canadian and Polish casinos, the company also operates casinos in Central City, Aruba and aboard 12 cruise ships. And it is building a racetrack in Calgary and seeking a license for a casino in Vienna.

Shareholders took the news without blinking, bidding up the stock 18 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $7.17 in trading Monday after the results were announced. The stock hit a 6?-year high of $8.02 last month as the company began construction on the racetrack project.

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Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234

Twitter @wayneheilman

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