BROOMFIELD, Colo. --Vail Resorts said Thursday its earnings rose 23 percent in its fiscal third quarter, as late spring snow helped boost skier visits to its Colorado resorts and visitors proved willing to spend on food, lessons and gear.
The Broomfield-based company reported net income of $97.6 million, or $2.66 per share, for the three months that ended April 30. That's up from $79.5 million, or $2.17 per share, during the same period last year. Analysts had forecast earnings of $2.74 per share.
Revenue climbed 12 percent to $469.7 million.
Vail Resorts Inc. operates the Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone resorts in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mount Brighton in Michigan; and Grand Teton Lodge Co. in the Jackson, Wyo., area.
Last month, it announced it reached a deal to operate Canyons in Park City, Utah.
Excluding recently purchased Kirkwood, Afton Alps and Mount Brighton, skier visits climbed 9.1 percent from a year ago. Visits to the company's Colorado resorts were up 11.8 percent, but Heavenly and Northstar together saw a 0.4 percent decline in skier visits after an unusually warm, dry spring, Vail Resorts said.
Visitors also were spending. Lift revenue, excluding season passes, was up 13.4 percent, dining revenue was up 13.9 percent, ski school revenue was up 11.8 percent, and retail and rental revenue was up 7.4 percent from a year ago, excluding the newly acquired resorts.
Vail Resorts reported selling roughly 138,000 season passes this spring for the 2013-14 season. Spring season pass sales through May 28 are up 18 percent in terms of units sold and up 24 percent in sales dollars from a comparable period last year.
Vail Resorts' shares fell 81 cents to $62.16 Thursday before results were announced, then lost another $2.66 in after-hours trading.
For the fiscal year ending July 31, Vail Resorts said it now expects $31.5 million to $39 million in net income, down from an earlier estimate of $39 million to $49 million. It estimates $8.7 million in losses relating to the signing May 29 of its long-term lease to operate Canyons, including $2.2 million in operating losses and about $6.5 million in one-time transaction costs.