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Activist Litt Pressures Boyd Gaming To Unlock Value With REIT Conversion


Activist investor Land and Buildings Management's Jonathan Litt on Wednesday said he will continue to press to have Boyd Gaming (BYD - Get Report) set up a REIT even though the casino operator's top executives didn't provide any update on its review of its real estate strategy on their first quarter analyst conference call Tuesday.

"It would be very logical and an enormous amount of value could be unlocked by pursuing a REIT for the casino operator's real estate assets," Litt told The Deal.

His comments come after Boyd Gaming CFO Josh Hirshberg in February told analysts on an earnings call that the company is "continuing to think through the issue" of whether it should set up a publicly-traded REIT for its real estate. He added that the company is monitoring developments in the space. However, neither Hirshberg nor Boyd Gaming CEO Keith Smith provided any updates on its review on the company's Tuesday call with analysts when the casino operator reported first quarter earnings per share beating Wall Street's expectations.

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Specifically, the casino operator reported earnings of $0.30 a share, significant higher than a FactSet compiled consensus estimate of $0.25 a share. Boyd Gaming also reported first quarter 2016 net revenue of $552 million, just slightly more than the $551 million it reported in the same period last year.

The move by Litt (pictured above), who specializes in real estate-focused campaigns, comes as Boyd Gaming on Monday announced it was acquiring Las...