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Caesars Posts Loss on Interest Costs as Las Vegas Fuels Revenue

Caesars Entertainment Corp. posted a widening loss of $220.6 million in its last full period as a private company, as growth at its Las Vegas casino resorts fueled a 2.4 percent increase in revenue.

Fourth-quarter net loss expanded to $1.76 a share from a loss of $196.7 million, or $1.71, a year earlier, after interest expenses gained 32 percent, Las-Vegas Caesars said today in a statement. Revenue rose to $2.17 billion at the casino chain, which completed an initial public offering this month.

Caesars, with about $19.8 billion in long-term debt, has cut costs and its Caesars Palace and Planet Hollywood properties will perform better than Las Vegas generally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. credit analysts Susan Berliner and Richard DeGaetani said in a Feb. 23 report. Gambling revenue on the Las Vegas Strip rose 5.1 percent in 2011, its second annual increase, a sign that the recovery in the biggest U.S. betting market is gaining strength.

“We remain more bullish with regards to Las Vegas versus all other markets,” the New York-based analysts wrote.

Caesars added 7.6 percent to $11.68 at 9:49 a.m. in New York. The shares have gained 21 percent since the offering.

Property earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a closely watched measure of cash flow, increased 7.6 percent to $492.8 million, the company said.

Caesars raised $16.3 million in an initial public offering on Feb. 7 of less than 2 percent of its stock. The IPO gave firms such as Paulson & Co., the hedge fund run by billionaire John Paulson, a chance to exit and potentially return cash to investors.

The company was taken private by Apollo Global Management LLC and TPG Capital in 2008 in a $30.7 billion transaction. The IPO, priced at $9 a share, gave Caesars a $22.5 billion enterprise value, including debt.

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