Earnings wrap: Gaylord, First Acceptance

Hotel and resort operator lifts guidance, auto insurer sees losses spike

Gaylord Entertainment reported first-quarter profits from continuing operations of $6 million, compared to a loss of $2 million a year ago, as bookings and room rates rose more than 3 percent while cost increases were largely held in check.

Chairman and CEO Colin Reed and his team pre-reported the strong numbers last week, when they also announced that they had spent about $3 million during the quarter "exploring opportunities" to unlock shareholder value. On Tuesday morning, they raised their consolidated cash flow projections for the year by about 3 percent to a range of $235 million to $252 million.

"Our business performed particularly well in March, as we recorded our highest brand CCF month, highest brand CCF Margin month, and second highest brand revenue month on record," Reed said. "Gaylord Palms and Gaylord Opryland led this improvement, with both properties delivering CCF Margin performances for the month that were among their best ever."

Gaylord shares (Ticker: GET) ended Monday's session up more than 3 percent at $34.92. They've climbed 45 percent so far in 2012 and are trading near 52-week highs.


Auto insurer First Acceptance said it lost $8.2 million in the first three months of 2012, a step back from a smaller loss the year before.

Revenues at the Green Hills-based company rose 5 percent from early 2011 to $55.5 million, helped by a 6 percent increase in the number of policies in force. But higher-than-expected claims stemming from cases as far back as 2008 pushed loss expenses up by $3.4 million and lifted the combined ratio, which compares losses and operating expenses to revenues, to 117.5 percent.

Shares of First Acceptance (Ticker: FAC) closed Monday trading at $1.50. Year to date, they're up about 10 percent.