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Analyst has history of positive comments on LV Sands

Here’s a footnote to a blog item posted this morning by my colleague, John L. Smith.

Gaming analyst Larry Klatzkin of Jefferies & Co. has never said a negative word about Las Vegas Sands Corp. — ever. Within the Wall Street analyst community, Klatzkin is thought of as the lapdog of Las Vegas Sands Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

All of last year, when shares of Las Vegas Sands lost more almost 95 percent of their value, Klatzkin had nothing but positive comments about the company.

So, it’s no surprise that Klatzkin told investors this morning that “despite the lower forecasts, we remain confident and believe Las Vegas Sands stock is a strong buy.”

Readers of the Review-Journal might recall that Klatzkin found himself in the middle of a flap over Las Vegas Sands stock in January 2007.

A Jan. 10 investors’ note that Klatzkin issued claimed Las Vegas Sands had won approval to develop a nongaming resort complex on Hengqin Island near the casino company’s operations in Macau. Shares of Las Vegas Sands jumped 11 percent on the news.

One problem, it wasn’t true. Other analysts cried foul and wondered who fed Klatzkin the bogus information. Later that day, well after the stock market closed and Las Vegas Sands recorded a $12 price jump, the company disputed the report.

Klatzkin went radio silent and wouldn’t comment on the matter. An expert on securities law said Las Vegas Sands could have been in violation of Securities and Exchange Commission fair disclosure laws, but nothing came of the matter.

Klatzkin’s source was never revealed.

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