Travel and leisure company Vail Resorts (MTN) reported better than expected revenues for the second quarter of 2019, aided mainly by strong guest arrivals during the holiday season. The company also raised its quarterly dividend, driving the stock higher in the pre-market trading Friday.
Total revenues rose 15.7% year-on-year to $849.6 million from $734.6 million in the year-ago period and surpassed analysts’ forecast. The topline benefitted from an increase in visitation and higher spending by guests, especially during the holiday weeks.
Total lift revenue rose about 17% year-over-year during the quarter, aided by double-digit growth in skier visitation. There was a 16% increase in lodging revenue, helped mainly by incremental revenue from the Triple Peaks resorts and Tahoe lodging properties. Total resort revenue was up 15%.
The topline benefitted from an increase in visitation and higher spending by guests, especially during the holiday weeks
Meanwhile, net income attributable to shareholders dropped to $206.35 million or $5.02 per share from $235.69 million or $5.67 per share in the second quarter of 2018 when the results had benefitted from a one-time tax benefit.
EBITDA, a metric that provides a more accurate picture of the company’s performance, rose to $356.85 million in the second quarter from $308.37 million a year earlier.
“Our destination guest visitation was largely in line with expectations during the key holiday weeks and through the remainder of January. Throughout the quarter, with the favorable conditions at our U.S. resorts, we saw strong visitation growth among our local guests, who are primarily pass purchasers,” said CEO Rob Katz.
The management, meanwhile, lowered its full-year 2019 earnings outlook to $268-$300 million and reaffirmed the resort-reported EBITDA guidance between $690 million and $710 million.
During the quarter, the board of directors approved a 20% increase in the quarterly cash dividend to $1.76 per share. The dividend will be paid on April 11, 2019, to shareholders of record on March 27, 2019. Also, a total of 155,111 shares were repurchased for $35.0 million.
The company recently signed an agreement to acquire Falls Creek and Hotham resorts in Australia. The transaction is expected to close before the Australian ski season that is expected to begin in June 2019.
Vail Resorts stock gained about 8% in the pre-market trading Friday following the earnings report. The stock had closed the previous session notably lower.
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