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Boyd Gaming sees record margins in 1st quarter

Updated April 27, 2021 - 8:01 pm

Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming Corp. on Tuesday reported “all-time” record margins and year-over-year revenue and net income growth during the first three months of the year.

And early signs over the last several weeks show tourists are coming back, Boyd president and CEO Keith Smith told investors during the Tuesday earnings call.

“As COVID vaccinations continue to roll out and restrictions lift, we expect visitation among our rated destination customers to approve,” Smith said. Hotel reservations are at their highest level in more than a year, he said, adding that the company’s booking window is also “rapidly improving.”

Including corporate expense, Boyd’s operating margin was 38.8 percent during the first financial quarter, up from 21.2 percent during the same time last year, the company reported. The company brought in $753.3 million in revenues during the quarter compared with $680.5 million at the same time last year and reported a net income of $102.2 million compared with a net loss of $147.6 million at the same time last year.

Locals

Guests are visiting in greater numbers, and they’re spending more when they do, according to Josh Hirsberg, chief financial officer and executive vice president at Boyd. Guests visitation and customer spend were each higher in the first financial quarter than in the third or fourth quarters last year, he said.

“This was a great quarter. January and February were good, March was exceptional, and that strength is continuing into April,” Hirsberg said.

Still, Boyd executives see more room to grow.

“We do think that there’s upside in our business from customers that haven’t returned, both in terms of those that are older and local customers that haven’t returned, but also high-value customers that are more destination oriented,” Hirsberg said, “and the business that we’ll pick up from meetings and conventions as more and more restrictions are are alleviated.”

Boyd locals casinos generated $182.4 million in revenue during the first quarter, up from $180.8 in the first quarter last year, the company reported. First-quarter revenues were down about 18 percent from the $222.9 million compared with the same period in 2019.

Downtown revenues remained way down from 2020 and 2019. The company reported $21.4 million in first-quarter revenue this year, down 60.4 percent from the same period last year ($54.1 million) and 66 percent from the same time 2019 ($63 million).

Guests at least age 65 have been returning in recent months, though “many are still on the sidelines,” Smith said. Another of Boyd’s key customer demographics, destination travelers, particularly from Hawaii, continue to visit at “well below pre-pandemic levels.”

Shares of Boyd stock, traded as BYD on the New York Stock Exchange, opened at $68.31 and closed at $72.75, a high since the pandemic began.

Contact Mike Shoro at [email protected] or 702-387-5290. Follow @mike_shoro on Twitter.

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