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MGM Resorts International posts a profit for 2nd quarter, strong results in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - MGM Resorts International reported a profit for its second quarter on Tuesday, helped by an IRS audit settlement and a strong showing among its properties on the Las Vegas Strip.

CEO Jim Murren touted several new projects aimed at keeping the casino company ahead of the pack in Las Vegas, including a $375 million arena under construction on the Strip, new restaurants and an interactive Hershey's store that debuted in June. He also highlighted a remodel that's converting THEhotel at the Mandalay Bay into the Delano Las Vegas, a move aimed at attracting a higher-paying customer.

Progress on an MGM casino in Cotai, which will have three times as many hotel rooms as the existing MGM Macau casino, is on budget and on schedule to open in 2016, according to company officials. Chief financial officer Dan D'Arrigo said customer relationships developed in Asia have had a ripple effect in Las Vegas, driving a big gain in baccarat winnings.

The Las Vegas-based casino operator's profit easily beat analysts' estimates. Its stock climbed before the market opened on Tuesday.

The company reported net income of $105.5 million, or 21 cents per share, compared with a loss of $93 million, or 19 cents per share, a year ago.

The current quarter included a $31 million benefit related to the settlement of 2005 to 2009 IRS audits.

Analysts, on average, predicted earnings of 10 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.

Revenue rose 4 per cent to $2.58 billion from $2.48 billion, matching Wall Street's forecast.

Shares of MGM Resorts gained 38 cents, or 1.4 per cent, to $26.83 in morning trading. Its shares are up almost 62 per cent over the past year.

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