By Bill Peters
Ski-resort operator Vail Resorts Inc. on Wednesday reported fiscal fourth-quarter results that were better than expected, helped by acquisitions abroad and demand for advance passes, with full-year sales rebounding above pre-pandemic levels.
The company lost around $109 million during the quarter, or $2.70 per share, compared to around $141 million and $3.49 per share in the year-earlier period.
Sales for Vail Resorts /zigman2/quotes/210098185/composite MTN -0.10% came in at $267.1 million during the quarter, compared with $204 million in the same quarter last year. Analysts polled by FactSet expected a $2.92 per-share loss, on sales of $262 million.
The ski-resort operator closed out its fiscal year with $2.5 billion in sales, above the $2.27 billion notched in 2019 and the highest sales figure since at least 2009. It also declared a quarterly cash dividend of $1.91 per share.
Shares of Vail Resorts rose 3.2% after hours.
Chief Executive Kirsten Lynch attributed the fourth-quarter results to “strong demand and visitation at our Australian resorts and the continued recovery in our North American summer operations following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Vail in 2019 acquired the Hotham and Falls Creek ski fields in Australia.
She also noted gains in advance commitment passes, and “favorable early season conditions” that extended through the the quarter.
“Despite the challenging early season conditions through the holiday period, staffing challenges, and impacts related to COVID-19, results exceeded our original expectations for the year driven by the stability from our advance commitment pass products, with approximately 72% of skier visitation at our North American resorts coming from pass product holders,” she said of the company’s full year.
Shares of Vail Resorts are down 34% so far this year. By comparison, the S&P 500 Index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.24% is down 22% over that time.