Strong market moves by WYNN, LVS following upgrades

Jan 5, 2010 2:53 AM


Up, up and away went the stock market on Monday as traders were encouraged by the economic news of the day. And rising with them were the major gaming companies, especially Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) and Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS).

WYNN began the new year trading at $58.23 but by the end of the trading day had reached $63.96, an increase of 9.84 percent. LVS opened at $14.94 and shot up to $16.62, an 11.24 percent jump.

Interest in the two companies began early with a report out of Macau that analysts at Citigroup and UBS Securities had initiated coverage of Sands China Ltd. (SCL), the Hong Kong traded shares that resulted from the initial public offering of Las Vegas Sands Corp.

SCL trading saw the share price rise more than 6 percent before closing higher by 5.1 percent.

In U.S. trading, WYNN’s popularity was helped by positive comments from analyst Robin Farley who upgraded her rating of the stock to "buy" from "neutral."

Farley wrote in her appraisal that the stock had declined 11 percent during the past month although there had been no change in the outlook for revenue in 2009 of $14.5 billion. She maintained her price target of $76 per share.

Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (MPEL) and MGM MIRAGE Inc. (MGM), two other prominent Macau operators, saw their shares rise 6.55 percent to $3.58 for the former, and 6.69 percent to $9.73 for the latter.

Other major gaming companies whose shares saw major increases in Monday trading were: Bally Technologies Inc. (BYI) that closed at $43.47 an increase of $2.18, and Churchill Downs Inc. (CHDN) up $1.22 to $38.57.