Vail sees fortunes improve as quarterly results beat Wall Street expectations

BROOMFIELD — Vail Resorts Inc. (NYSE: MTN) revenues, which were crushed last year when COVID-19 forced the early closure of ski resorts, are moving in the right direction.

The resort operator posted sales of $889.1 million for the period ending April 30, up 28.1% from the same period last year. Revenues also topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $879.89 million.

Earnings per share for the most recent quarter were $6.82, up from Wall Street projections of $6.56.

“Given the continued challenging operating environment as a result of COVID-19, we are very pleased with our overall results for the quarter and for the full 2020/2021 North American ski season,” Vail CEO Rob Katz said in a statement accompanying the company’s quarterly report. “Results continued to improve as the season progressed, primarily as a result of stronger destination visitation at our Colorado and Utah resorts, including improved lift ticket purchases relative to fiscal 2021 second quarter results.”

While pass sales were up compared with 2020, ongoing capacity restrictions limited sales of ancillary products and services such as food and beverage and ski schools.

“We maintained disciplined cost controls throughout the quarter and continued operating our ancillary lines of business at reduced capacity,” Katz’s statement said. “Resort reported EBITDA margin for the third quarter was 52.0%, exceeding both the prior year period of 43.9% and fiscal 2019 third quarter of 50.2%. These results reflect our rigorous approach to cost management, as well as a higher proportion of lift revenue relative to ancillary lines of business compared to prior periods.”

Vail expects to earn net income of $93 million and $139 million for the full fiscal year 2021, assuming there are no additional COVID-19 resort shutdowns.