Analysts differ on Argosy’s prospects

Sep 17, 2002 6:47 AM

Should Argosy Gaming Inc. shares be classified with a "buy" rating or not? It appears to be a matter of opinion.

In David Barteld’s mind ”” he’s the gaming analyst at Wells Fargo Securities in San Francisco ”” the shares, which he recently initiated coverage, deserve a "buy" rating.

But, David Anders of Merrill Lynch disagrees. On Friday, he downgraded the stock from a "buy" to a "neutral."

Anders wrote, "While Argosy’s valuation looks reasonable, we believe most of the good news is priced in while the market appears to be discounting the potential threat of legalized gaming in Kentucky or Ohio."

In his research note, Barteld said he recognized the risk of adjoining jurisdictions joining the gaming field but he said that he was forecasting a 23% increase in revenues "driven primarily by the Lawrenceburg and Empress acquisitions in 2001 and earnings per share of $2.64."

Barteld listed a 12-month price target of $35 a share.

On Friday, when the research notes were issued, shares in Argosy Gaming fell $1.16 to close at $25.85.