Park Place Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: PPE) reported net income and diluted earnings per share before pre-opening charges of $49 million and $0.16 for the first quarter ended March 31, 1999 compared to pro forma net income of $43 million and diluted earnings per share of $0.14 for the first quarter of 1998.
Including the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle of $2 million net of tax required for pre-opening costs and $3 million of additional pre-opening costs expensed in the first quarter of 1999, diluted earnings per share were $0.15.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, pre-opening expense and non-cash items (EBITDA) were $193 million, up ten percent from the pro forma first quarter 1998 results of $176 million.
The 1999 increase was driven by strong operating performance in the Western and Mid-South regions. In the Western region, EBITDA increased twenty-eight percent and fifty-nine percent at the Flamingo Hilton Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Hilton, respectively. In the Mid-South region, EBITDA increased twenty seven percent due to strong performance at both Grand Biloxi and Grand Tunica, as well as significant reductions in regional overhead.
“We successfully demonstrated the power of our size and diversification,” said Arthur Goldberg, president and CEO. “As the largest and most diversified gaming company in the world, we believe we have created a more stable earnings stream and reduced our exposure to individual market volatility by having a major presence in each of the three largest US gaming markets.”