Company forecasts second half growth, citing improving business trends and cost cuts

Boyd Gaming is forecasting growth in the second half of 2010 as the multi-state operator swung to a first-quarter net profit, citing improving business trends and cost cuts.

The Las Vegas-based, publicly traded company reported net income of $8.4 million, or 10 cents a share, compared with a loss of $13.8 million, or 16 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2009.

The results beat the consensus estimate of 7 cents per share.

Net revenue fell 8 percent to $398.4 million, which was short of the $409.5 million forecast by analysts. But total costs and expenses were down 10 percent to $379.3 million.

“We continue to be encouraged by improving trends in our business, which clearly reflect the signs of an emerging recovery,” Chief Executive Officer Keith Smith said in a statement. “Given the positive developments in our business, combined with continued improvement in the national economy, we expect to generate year-over-year growth during the second half of 2010.”

Boyd owns and operates 16 casinos in six states and owns 50 percent of the Borgata resort in Atlantic City, where MGM Mirage, which owns the other 50 percent, has said it plans to sell its stake.