Monarch Casino & Resort (NASDAQ: MCRI) owns and operates the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, a hotel/casino facility in Reno. The facility includes 50,000 square feet of casino space, a hotel, and adjoining food and retail outlets.[1]

Monarch's revenue increased by 5.2% in 2007, compared to an 8.7% growth in 2006.[2] This falloff can be attributed to factors such as rising oil prices, which hurts the business of the tourist-dependent casino industry.[3] Another factor that contributed to this falloff was stricter government regulations, which increased the casino business in California, thereby taking away some of Monarch's out-of-state clientele.[4] However, an increase in business from the rapidly growing local population of Reno enabled Monarch to partially offset this decline.[5]

Business Overview

Business and Financial Metrics

Monarch Revenue and Income ($ in millions)[2]
Segment (Year ending Dec. 31) 2007 2006 2005
Casino 110.26 103.33 94.50
Food and Beverage[6] 42.36 41.04 38.57
Hotel[6] 27.89 26.41 23.91
Other[6] 4.87 4.88 4.69
Gross Revenue 185.38 175.66 161.67
Promotional Allowances -25.52 -23.69 -21.88
Net Revenue 159.86 151.97 139.79
Operating Income 35.69 33.49 33.07
Net Income 24.48 22.08 21.04

Monarch's net revenue increased by 5.2% in 2007, while operating income and net income increased by 6.6% and 10.9%, respectively. However, while MCRI's revenue growth decreased from the year before, both operating income and net income grew at higher rates than in 2006.[2]

The company's promotional allowances, which are deducted from the gross revenue to obtain the total net revenue, are defined as the retail value of hotel, food and beverage services Monarch provides to its customers. Promotional allowances went up by 7.7% in 2007, compared to the 5.2% increase in net revenue in the same year.[7]

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Monarch's Revenue, Net Income, and Profit Margin for Fiscal Years 2005-2007

Business Segments

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2007 Gross Revenue by Segments: Year ending Dec. 31[6]

Monarch's entire revenue comes from the services provided at its one and only property: The Atlantis.[8] The revenue is divided into its four segments of operations: casino, food and beverage, hotel, and other.[8]

Casino (59% of 2007 Gross Revenue)

Revenue from this segment represents Monarch's aggregate net win from gaming activities at its properties.[8] Casino revenues were $110.3 million in 2007, a 6.8% increase from the year before.[8] The key drivers behind this increase were increases in revenue from table games, poker, Keno, and especially slots.[8] Revenue from slot and video poker machines increased by 7.3% in 2007, driven by a shift in customer preferences towards electronic casino games.[8] This increase in slot revenue can also be attributed to Monarch's technological innovations to its existing facilities and equipment.[8] Furthermore, Keno and poker revenues grew by 11.0% in 2007, an increase that Monarch attributes to effective marketing and the quality of its product and service offerings at its property.[8] Lastly, a decrease in this segment's operating expenses contributed to the increase in this segment's overall revenue.[8]

Food and Beverage (23% of 2007 Gross Revenue)

This segment consists of revenue obtained from Monarch's aggregate food and beverage sales at its properties.[8] This includes sales from in-hotel restaurants and bars, room service charges, and vending machine sales.[8] Food and beverage revenues increased 3.4% to $42.4 million in 2007, primarily due to a 3.5% increase in average revenue per cover.[8] Lastly, there was a slight increase in operating expenses, up to 47.9% of food and beverage revenue in 2007.[8]

Hotel (15% of 2007 Gross Revenue)

This segment consists of revenues from room rentals in Monarch's hotel.[8] Hotel revenues totaled $27.9 million in 2007, a 5.7% increase from 2006 numbers.[8] The increase reflects an increase in both the average daily room rate (ADR) and occupancy rate in fiscal 2007.[8] The Atlantis ADR increased 5.97% in 2007 (up to $74.04), while its average occupancy rate rose from 93.3% in 2006 to 93.8% in 2007.[8] Furthermore, hotel operating expenses decreased to 30.0% of hotel revenues in 2007, compared to 31.7% in 2006.[8] This decrease resulted from the impact of the increased ADR on revenue.[8]

Other (3% of 2007 Gross Revenue)

This segment consists of miscellaneous services that do not fall into any of the other categories, such as long-distance phone services, parking services, and in-room movie services.[8] This segment had no growth in 2007, remaining flat at approximately $4.9 million.[8]

Key Trends and Forces

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Domestic Crude Oil Prices per Barrel: Inflation adjusted for 2007 prices[9]

Rising oil prices are negatively affecting the hospitality industry

Casino/resort operators such as Monarch depend heavily on overall economic strength for its revenue, as people tend to travel only when they feel they have enough disposable income to afford such vacations. In the first half of 2008, however, the price of crude oil rose to $98.66/barrel, up 76.8% from the year before,[9] causing an increase in the price of jet fuel from $850/metric ton at the beginning of 2008 to $1300/ton by June.[3] The increasing fuel costs lead to spikes in airline prices,[10] which in turn drastically lower the numbers of people who can afford travel costs.[11] This in turn takes business from tourists away from hotels and casinos, as evidenced by Monarch's slower growth in 2007.[2]

Monarch obtains its entire revenue from the Reno market

Over the past 10 years, the population of Washoe County (where Reno is located) has grown at an average of 2.7% a year[12] compared to the national average of a 1.1% average 10 year population growth.[5] In addition, Nevada's history of favorable regulations on gaming enable MCRI to operate its casino without fear of losing its business due to a change in regulation. These factors help Monarch because it provides the casino/resort with a growing number of potential customers right in its own market of operation.[4]

However, although Monarch benefits from the ever-increasing population of Reno, its inability to enter other markets makes it vulnerable to any changes in Nevada's economic conditions. For example, if there is an economic recession in Nevada that causes a steep decline in revenue from Monarch's Nevada casinos, it will be unable to offset these losses through revenues obtained in other markets.[4] In the first four months of 2008, gaming win for the entire Reno market was $224 million, a 6.5% decrease from 2007.[13] MCRI was hit particularly hard by this trend, with its 2008 Q2 revenue decreasing by 15% from the previous year's Q2 results.[1]

New government regulations are decreasing MCRI's business

Nevada casinos have historically been able to count on business from Californians due to California's stricter gambling regulations. However, since 2000, these regulations have become less strict, leading to a growth in Californian Native American casino revenue every year since. 2007 saw a serious decline in Native American casino revenue growth, with Native American gambling increasing only 1.6% in Southern California, compared to 5% nationally.[14] In February 2008, California voters approved an increase in the number of Native American operated slot machines in the state that analysts expect to increase this growth rate. This affects Monarch because it gives Californians more in-state options for gambling, decreasing out-of-state clients and increasing the importance of Monarch's ability to attract people from its own state, specifically Reno.[4]

The changing regulations contributed to the slowing of Reno's casino revenue growth, from 8.7% in 2006 to 5.2% in 2007.[2] Further, as a result of the higher concentration of local customers, casino revenue grew by 6.7% in 2007 while food and beverage and hotel revenues increased by 3.2% and 5.6%, respectively.[6] This can be explained by the fact that Monarch obtains the majority of its food and beverage and hotel revenue from out-of-state customers, while both local and non-local customers contribute to casino revenue.[2]


The majority of Monarch's business comes from tourists and, as a result, it competes with other casinos/hotels for the gambling and lodging preferences of these tourists. Further, because Monarch operates wholly in Nevada, it primarily competes with other Nevada-based casino/hotel operators. These companies include:

  • MGM MIRAGE (MGM) runs hotels and casinos in markets around the world, primarily in gambling hotspots Las Vegas and Macau. As the name behind the most profitable casino in Las Vegas (the Bellagio), and one of the most recognizable casino operators in the industry, MGM is a huge threat to Monarch. Its 2007 revenue was approximately $7.96 billion, with an estimated $2 billion coming from its casino operations in Nevada alone.[15]
  • Harrah's Entertainment (HET) is a private company that operates casinos and resorts primarily in the U.S. and U.K. The company's 3 million square feet of casino space make it one of the largest casino operators in the world. Its size and popularity with tourists around the world make Harrah's one of Monarch's primary threats for business in Nevada. Harrah's earned $2.5 billion in 2007 from Nevada casino operations alone, giving it a commanding 21% share of the Nevada market.[16]
  • Wynn Resorts (WYNN) operates casinos in Nevada and Macau, obtaining about half of its overall revenue from operations in each location. It thus competes with Monarch in the Nevada market, with an estimated 8% of Nevada Casino market share.[17]
  • Las Vegas Sands (LVS), like MGM, also primarily operates its hotels and casinos in Las Vegas and Macau. Las Vegas Sands is perhaps best known as the company behind the Venetian, the second most profitable casino in Vegas behind MGM's Bellagio. Its 2007 revenue was $2.95 billion, and its $405 million Nevada casino revenue was enough to earn it 3.4% of the Nevada gaming market.[18]

Company 2007 Revenue ($ in millions) 2007 Operating Income ($ in millions) 2007 Operating Margin 2007 Nevada Casino Revenue ($ in millions) 2007 Nevada Casino Revenue Market Share
Monarch[2] 160 36 22.32% 110 0.93%
MGM MIRAGE[19] 7,962 2,864 37.23% ~2,000[20] ~ 15% < X < 20%
Harrah's Entertainment[21] 10,825 1,652 15.3% 2,495[22] 21.10%
Wynn Resorts[23] 2,688 145 15.97% 946[24] 8.02%
Las Vegas Sands[25] 2,951 319 10.82% 405[26] 3.43%

Market Share (Some Data Based on Approximations)

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2007 Market Share by Revenue: Nevada Casinos

Nevada is the state with the highest revenue from casino operations, with an estimated aggregate $11.8 billion in revenue for fiscal 2007, a 5.72% increase from 2006.[27] Monarch was responsible for just under 1% of this revenue, while industry giants MGM MIRAGE and Harrah's Entertainment combined for nearly 40% of the market's revenue. MGM does not separate its casino revenue by geographic location, so its $2 billion in Nevada casino revenue is an estimate based on the fact that 68% of its available casino floorspace is in Nevada[28] and its overall casino revenue for 2007 was $3.24 billion.[20] This would place its approximate market share at 15-20% of the overall Nevada gaming market. Wynn's market share is an estimate based on taking the percentage of casino revenue on its total revenue (73%) and multiplying it by Wynn's net revenue from its Nevada operations.[24]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Google Finance: MCRI
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 MCRI 2007 10-K, Item 6: Selected Financial Data, Operating Results
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wall Street Journal: More Fuel Surcharges Could Curb Air Travel
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 MCRI 2007 10-K, Item 1A: Risk Factors
  5. 5.0 5.1 Davenport Equity Research: MCRI Initiate, page 4
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 stock:Monarch_Casino_&_Resort_(MCRI)/Filing/10-K/2008/F5267775 MCRI 2007 10-K, Item 8: Financial Statements, Consolidated Statements of Income
  7. stock:Monarch_Casino_&_Resort_(MCRI)/Filing/10-K/2008/F5267775 MCRI 2007 10-K, Item 7: Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition, Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 8.16 8.17 8.18 8.19 8.20 MCRI 2007 10-K, Item 7: Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition, Results of Operations
  9. 9.0 9.1 Inflation Data: Historical Oil Prices
  10. New York Times: Airlines Face ‘Desperate’ Situation, Official Says
  11. Hotel Marketing: TripAdvisor’s US travel outlook for 2008
  12. US Census Bureau: Washoe County Quick Facts
  13. Review Journal: Rough ride for casinos in Reno
  14. Inland Valley Daily Bulletin: Indian gaming revenue growth dips
  15. Wikinvest: MGM
  16. Wikinvest: HET
  17. Wikinvest: WYNN
  18. Wikinvest: LVS
  19. Google Finance: MGM
  20. 20.0 20.1 m MGM 2007 10-K, Item 7: Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition, page 20
  21. HET 2007 10-K, Item 6: Selected Financial Data, page 20
  22. HET 2007 10-K, Item 7: Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Discussion, pages 33, 36
  23. Google Finance: WYNN
  24. 24.0 24.1 WYNN 2007 10-K, Item 7: Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition, page 38
  25. Google Finance: LVS
  26. LVS 2007 10-K, Item 7: Management's Discussion and Financial Analysis, page 44
  27. Reuters: Nevada Casino Revenue Grew 5.72% in 2007 to Reach Nearly $11.8 Billion
  28. MGM 2007 10-K, Item 1: Business, page 1-2
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