Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. reported Wednesday that work on its L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge project is expected to speed up now that water levels in the Mississippi River have fallen.
So far, Pinnacle has spent $84 million on construction, with $51 million of that this year, said Carlos Ruisanchez, executive vice president and chief financial officer, during a conference call with stock analysts and investors.
Pinnacle, of Las Vegas, spent $26 million on construction during the second quarter.
“The real spending will really start increasing now that we’ve restarted and accelerating in the fourth quarter,” he said. “I would tell you that about 75 percent of what we have left to spend will happen in the next year.”
Around $273 million of the total construction budget remains to be invested, according to Pinnacle.
The firm expects to open the Baton Rouge casino and hotel in the summer of 2012, despite a number of construction delays caused by months of unusually high water in the Mississippi.
Also Wednesday, Pinnacle reported a second-quarter loss of close to $18 million, or 29 cents per share, compared with a loss of $49.3 million, or 81 cents per share, a year earlier.
The company said its casinos in St. Louis, Lake Charles and New Orleans had double- or near double-digit increases in revenue.
Overall, Pinnacle’s revenue rose 9 percent to $299.1 million from $273.6 million.
However, the company had to write off $23.5 million for discontinued operations, including land and other assets in Atlantic City.
Pinnacle also announced that it had increased its line of credit to $410 million, up from $375 million, while reducing the interest rate by 1.25 percent. The previous credit line carried an interest rate of 375 basis points above the London Interbank Offered Rate, the most widely used benchmark for short-term interest rates. The new credit line’s interest rate is 250 basis points above LIBOR.
Ruisanchez also said the amended line of credit will give Pinnacle added flexibility to continue planned projects, including the Baton Rouge casino and hotel.