Century Casinos Inc. said Friday that it gave raises of $200,000 to each of its two co-CEOs, just one day after the company's third-quarter earnings fell short of Wall Street expectations, triggering a 17.9 percent drop in its stock over the past two days.

Directors of the Colorado Springs-based gaming company, which owns casinos in Cripple Creek, Central City, Canada, Poland and aboard cruise ships, awarded the raises Monday and required that one-fourth of the after-tax amount of each raise be used to buy company stock, Century told stockholders Friday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The requirement is designed to result in the co-CEOs making stock purchases every calendar year starting next year, the filing said.

Last year, Erwin Haitzmann, Century's chairman, and Peter Hoetzinger, the company's vice chairman and president, each received $462,000 in salaries, $150,000 in bonuses and $55,000 and $40,000, respectively, in health and life insurance benefits and the cost of cars provided for each co-CEO, according to the company's proxy statement filed in April with the SEC. Haitzmann became CEO in March 1994, while Hoetzinger was promoted in March 2005 to join him as co-CEO.

On Thursday, the company reported its third-quarter earnings fell 9.5 percent from a year earlier to $1.07 million, or 4 cents a share, despite a 54 percent increase in revenue during the July-to-September period. In a conference call with stock analysts, Hoetzinger blamed the declining profits on floods in Colorado and Canada and increased uncertainty in the U.S. economy leading up to the two-week federal government shutdown in October.

Profits for the first nine months of the year jumped 84.4 percent from a year earlier to $6.39 million, or 26 cents a share, on a 39 percent jump in revenue during the same period. The nine-month gains were largely driven by the company's acquisition of a controlling interest in its Polish gaming unit.

The third-quarter profits fell a penny short of a forecasts by stock analysts, triggering a steep decline in Century stock on Thursday and Friday. The company's shares hit a nearly six-year high of $6.26 on Wednesday before falling $1.12 to $5.14 by Friday in the heaviest volume of trading in six years.


Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234