Melco Crown

Sep 13, 2010 6:42 PM

Sometimes, gaming analysts just agree to disagree.

This week’s case in point involves Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. (MPEL), the Macau casino operator that was formed by the partnership of Lawrence Ho, son of Macau gaming giant Stanley Ho, and James Packer, who inherited publishing and gaming enterprises in Australia.

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Until earlier this year, Melco Crown wasn’t considered among the major players in Macau since it operated a smaller casino and several slot machine shops. But with the opening of the billion-dollar City of Dreams, the company became a significant competitor to Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) and Wynn Resorts Ltd. (WYNN) with their Macau operations.

Actually, in the past few weeks, Melco Crown’s market share rose to 17 percent, placing it behind Stanley Ho’s 18 casinos and Las Vegas Sands in the market share division.

A week ago, analysts at Morgan Stanley expressed their delight with MPEL’s market share movement and prospects for the future by raising their rating of the company’s stock to "overweight." The results among investors to push the share price to the $4.50 level.

On Friday, analysts at JP Morgan took a different view. They reduced their rating of MPEL share to "neutral" from the previous "overweight" ranking.

Oddly, both companies have a price target for the company’s stock at $5 per share.