Harrah’s Posts 4Q Profit

Harrah’s Entertainment posted a fourth-quarter profit over the same period a year ago, when it was hit by losses from Hurricane Katrina damage to its Gulf Coast casinos.

That’s good news for a consortium including Texas Pacific Group and Apollo Management that is buying the world’s large gaming company for some $17.1 billion.

The company posted net income of $47.6 million, or 25 cents per share, for the three months ended December 31st compared with a lost of $142.2 million, or 78 cents per share, during the same period a year ago.

However, adjusted earnings from continuing operations dropped to $85.3 million, or 45 cents per share from $143.4 million, or 77 cents per share, last year.

Revenue increased 16 percent to $2.43 billion versus $2.1 billion, topping Wall Street’s consensus estimate of $2.29 billion. Same-store sales, or sales at stores open at least a year, climbed 6.8 percent. The comparison excludes properties closed in the prior-year period due to hurricane damage sustained in the third quarter of 2005.

For the year, the company earned $535.8 million, or $2.85 per share, compared with $236.4 million, or $1.57 per share, in 2005. Also, revenue rose to $9.67 billion from $7.01 billion.