More renovations coming as Caesars emerges from bankruptcy

One of the many sculptured angels about the exterior of Caesars Palace on Wednesday, August 5, 2015.

Caesars Entertainment Corp., a diversified casino-entertainment provider and U.S. casino-entertainment company, reported its first-quarter earnings Tuesday.

Company: Caesars Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ: CZR)

Net Revenues: $963 million, an increase of 1.4 percent compared to the same quarter in 2016.

Net Loss: $524 million, compared with a net loss of $274 million in the same period last year. Management said this was because of a $466 million accrual from the restructuring of Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., Inc. compared to an accrual of $237 million in the same period in 2016.

Loss per share: $3.71, compared to a loss per share of $2.12 for the same period in 2016.

Takeaways: With the end of Caesars’ bankruptcy in sight, questions during the conference call to review first-quarter earnings Tuesday turned to investments the company is making in its properties as well as potential new projects.

While overall numbers were down, Caesars management pointed to positive returns from their hotels, boasting in a press release that preceded the call that “strong growth in hotel revenues fueled by a double-digit percentage increase in Las Vegas Cash ADR. These gains reflect the positive impact of our investments in property renovations.”

The company will double down on that success, said Mark P. Frissora, president and CEO of Caesars Entertainment, and renovate 7,000 more rooms and improve the infrastructure at Caesars Palace and the company’s other Las Vegas properties.

When the bankruptcy reorganization is finished, Caesars will be in a position to start growing again, Frissora and CFO Eric Hession said.

“It’s fair to say we’ve got a lot of time to plan and look at projects outside of Las Vegas,” Frissora said. “We’ve got a pretty good list of targets. … We can start talking about that once we emerge.”

Also, Hession and Frissora said the company has plans for the significant amount of land it owns on and around the Strip.

“We have sizable land holdings on the east side, some 80-90 acres,” Hession said. “And we also own 7 acres of undeveloped land in front of Caesars Palace, all of which is prime for potential development, from additional convention space to retail to other offerings our customers would desire.”

Frissora said the company already knows what it’s going to do with that land.

“We have talked a lot about it internally,” he said. “And we have lot of plans — plans that are well-defined, great projects that should have nice significant returns. It’s stuff near and dear to our heart.”

While there may be specific plans for the property, which sits behind Caesars east Strip resorts such as Harrah’s and Bally’s, an announcement is not forthcoming. Richard Broome, executive vice president of public affairs and communications, said the company won’t reveal the concepts until after it emerges from restructuring.

That should happen in the latter half of the third quarter, management said during the call.

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