Station Casinos posts 3Q profit, buys controlling interest in Fertitta Interactive

station casinosStation Casinos is looking at sunny days after experiencing an uptick in business in the third quarter of 2012. The Las Vegas casino operator reported that third quarter net revenue has hit $295.7 million. More importantly, Station Casinos also announced earnings of $11.2 million, a stark difference from the same time a year ago when they posted $19.2 million in loses.

The robust returns certainly reflects improved business for the company, particularly its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and management fees, which hit $71.7 million this year, representing a 3.2% increase from the previous numbers a year ago.

The improvement in net revenue wasn’t lost on Marc Falone, the company’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, who expressed satisfaction in the company’s operating performance especially in light of the turbulences it experienced as a result of its operating environment. “Despite a challenging operating environment, we experienced continued improvements in our operating results during the third quarter, and for the third consecutive quarter we experienced gains in both revenue and operating income in all of our major departments,” Falcone said in a statement.

Station executives aren’t sitting on their laurels, though. Knowing full well how business can turn on its head at the shortest of notices, the company is still working hard to boost profit and one of the first things they did was acquire a controlling interest in Fertitta Interactive, owner of the newly-licensed Ultimate Gaming/Ultimate Poker online gaming business. Incidentally, the Fertitta family is behind Station Casinos – actually, it was their pops, Frank Fertitta Jr., who founded the company before it went into bankruptcy in 2009 after amassing $6 billion in debt only to come out of it in June 2011 with outstanding debts of $2.5 billion.

Although terms of the deal weren’t immediately announced, Station Casino’s acquisition of Fertitta Interactive will allow it, according to Falcone, an opportunity to capitalize on the global growth of online poker and other online gaming opportunities. “We believe this transaction will be a long-term value driver for Station Casinos,” he added.

While this appears to be more like an internal reshuffling, Station Casinos’ acquisition of a controlling interest in Fertitta Interactie, pegged at 50.1%, goes to show that the company is getting its footing back a little over a year after it exited bankruptcy.