Argosy sees new $$$ in Indiana boat

Sep 10, 2002 7:36 AM

   Robin Farley, one of Wall Street’s top analysts of gaming companies, had a right to smile Friday when the Indiana Gaming Commission released its August report on riverboat revenues.

   One of the big successes was the Argosy boat in Lawrenceburg that showed a monthly increase of 20% and revenues of $35.8 million, primarily due to the change in regulations that now permits riverboats to remain dockside.

   A week earlier, Farley, chief analyst for UBS Warburg, wrote: “Dockside operations will unlock greater revenues for AGY, as it did for companies in Illinois. She had placed a 12-month target price on Argosy shares at $32.50.

   But, Friday, after reviewing the improved revenue figures, Farley said she was “more conservatively assuming a 15% full-year growth rate, which adds $0.15 to 2003 earnings per share and $1-2 per share to our $32-33 price target for AGY.”

   Revenues at Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. (HET) property in East Chicago were up less than 13% during August, she noted in a research paper, possibly indicating that “there may not be upside to our HET estimates.”

   Other winners in Indiana were the Caesars Indiana riverboat, with an increase of 42.7%, the Horseshoe in Hammond, up 38.2%, and Pinnacle’s Belterra boat with an increase of 30.2%.