Vail Resorts stock attracts investors |

Vail Resorts stock attracts investors

AVON – Over the last year Vail Resorts’ stock price has climbed and dived like an acrobatic kite.Tuesday the stock was on a uptick, hitting $19.28 a share. The surge was fueled, word on the street has it, by rumors the company is looking at spinning off a portion or all of its under-performing hotel division. Investors traded better than 162,000 shares Tuesday – 177 percent of the 91,500 shares traded in an average day. But Wednesday’s 143 point market dip cooled investor enthusiasm and drove the price down to $18.64 with just 41,100 shares traded at market close.In Summit County, Vail Resorts owns the Keystone and Breckenridge ski resorts and associated lodging properties.The company’s stock been going up and down for the last year. The stock dipped to a low of $12.97 and hit a two-year high of $19.65.In February 1997 the company’s stock at initial public offering was priced at $22 a share. It spiraled to $32 a year later and after Sept. 11 hit a low of $10.87.Based on the strength of its third quarter in 2004, when the company netted $62.5 million, Vail Resorts is expected to announce in its year-end report that it had a profitable year, at least on paper. Its last quarter typically shows no profit.Earlier this year it refinanced $360 million of long-term debt that is expected to erase its operating profit. And last year Vail Resorts lost $8.5 million on $710 million in gross revenue. Since Sept. 11, 2001, the company has struggled, cutting staff, benefits and nearly $45 million in expenses.Two months ago the company’s stock climbed nearly 35 percent to $19.65 on rumors the company was being sold. Last year the company hired Lehman Brothers to woo prospective purchasers.Cliff Thompson can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 450, or

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