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Gaming stocks now on the rebound?

Oct 31, 2008 7:43 PM

by Kevin Stott | It’s been a very trying year for stocks in the gaming sector but hope is on the way after back-to-back positive days on Wednesday and Thursday.

One of the big movers in the sector was Las Vegas Sands (LVS), which after climbing $3.96 to $8.91 a share on Wednesday, jumped up another $1.47 to $10.38 in Thursday trading (+16.5%) on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares are now twice as valuable as they were at their 52-week low level of $4.32 set on Tuesday. So if you invested in Las Vegas Sands shares at their low-point on Tuesday, you could have more than doubled your money in less than 48 hours.

Sheldon Adelson, the company’s chairman and CEO, saw his net worth increase $1.2 billion on Wednesday and had to be happy with the direction the price of the shares of his company are now heading, after possibly bottoming out on Tuesday.

Las Vegas Sands received some good news as Bloomberg News reported that the Singapore government was in talks with a company to help it finish its massive $4 billion Marina Bay Sands project in the downtown part of the city.

Another key player in the Las Vegas marketplace, Wynn Resorts (WYNN), also had a couple of solid days on the Nasdaq National Market, rising $8.17 to $41.05 (+25%) on Wednesday and then trading up $5.45 to $46.50 (+13.28%) on Thursday. Wynn was also trading at its 52-week low on Tuesday at $28.06 so to be up over $18 a share in two days must help folks in the corporation breathe a little easier today.

MGM MIRAGE (MGM), which announced that profits fell 67 percent from a year ago, also went up big Wednesday, gaining $3.42 to close at $13.75 (33%). Shares continued to rise Thursday on the NYSE, gaining $1.62 (11.78%) to $15.37. It was just one week ago today that MGM MIRAGE shares were trading at a 52-week low of $8.91, meaning a savvy investor could have almost doubled his or her money in less than a week.

Boyd Gaming (BYD) also got in on the gaming sector upswing, gaining $1.25 to $5.63 (+29%) on Wednesday before increasing another $0.12 to close at $5.75 (+2.1%) on Thursday. Boyd Gaming – which runs the Orleans, Sam’s Town, the Suncoast and the Gold Coast, among others in Las Vegas – was also trading at its 52-week low ($3.70) just a week ago today (Friday) and like many stocks in the sector, may have established its bottom.

Shares of Pinnacle Entertainment (PNK) gained $2.10 to close at $4.85 in the two days while issues of Ameristar Casino (ASCA) gained $1.52 to close at $8.28 after the two sessions. Ameristar’s 52-week low share price was $5.21, and was also established a week ago today (Oct. 24).

The slot makers in the sector also reaped the confidence of the bulls, as International Game Technology (IGT) also gained $0.74 to $12.01 in Wednesday and Thursday trading, while rival Bally Technologies (BYI) jumped up $3.32 to close at $20.95 over the two days. Bally’s 52-week low was also just set on Tuesday (Oct. 24), when shares dipped to $15.35.

The S&P Gaming sector index gained a healthy 20.70 (to 176.44) on Wednesday.