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Gaming stocks rebound

Stocks within the beleaguered gaming sector scored a one-day boost today despite the markets’ overall volatility. And, Las Vegas Sands Corp. along with Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson, were the biggest benefactors.

Shares of casino operator jumped 80 percent in value today on the New York Stock Exchange as the stocks of publicly traded casino companies and gaming equipment manufacturers rose throughout the day.

Adelson, who controls almost 70 percent of the company personally and through family trusts, saw his net worth climb more than $1.2 billion. The day before, it was reported that Adelson’s net worth had declined by more than $16.6 billion since the start of the year due to the falling price of the company’s stock.

Forbes magazine ranked Adelson as America’s third-richest person last year, but dropped him to 15th place earlier this month based on the declining stock price of Las Vegas Sands.

Las Vegas Sands jumped $3.96 to close at $8.91. At one point, the stock was up to $10.97. Las Vegas Sands was trading at $148.76 a year ago and sunk into single digits last week. More than 55.8 million shares of Las Vegas Sands were traded Wednesday, roughly eight times the average daily volume. The jump in price was the company’s single largest one-day percentage increase since its December 2004 initial public offering.

Analysts said an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve and an upbeat earnings release by MGM Mirage (MGM) helped fuel the sector. MGM Mirage said its third-quarter profits fell 67 percent, but the company’s efforts to reign in costs and slow developments was a positive twist.

Goldman Sachs gaming analyst Steven Kent said any balance sheet news, positive or negative, would drive the share prices of MGM Mirage and other gaming stocks in the near term.

While Las Vegas Sands (LVS) had the largest percentage increase within the sector, shares of Wynn Resorts (WYNN) had the largest monetary increase, jumping $8.17 on the Nasdaq to close at $41.05, up 24.85 percent.

Shares of the smaller casino operators also rose. Boyd Gaming Corp. (BYD) climbed 28.54 percent to close at $5.63, up $1.25; Pinnacle Entertainment (PNK) gained 60.73 percent to close at $4.42, up $1.67; while Ameristar Casinos (ASCA) was up 19.10 percent and closed at $8.17, up $1.31.

Slot maker International Game Technology (IGT) closed at $12.57, up $1.30 or 11.54 percent while rival Bally Technologies (BYI) finished the day at $20, up $2.37 or 13.44 percent.

Las Vegas Sands shares were given a lift reportedly by news from the other side of the globe.

Bloomberg News reported that the Singapore government was in talks with the company to help it finish construction of the $4 billion Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

The Singapore Tourism Board said it’s seeking to “facilitate the success” of the project in downtown Singapore. It didn’t specify any type of aid or say if it would involve financial support of the project.

Company spokesman Ron Reese wouldn’t comment Wednesday on the Singapore report.

 

Bloomberg News contributed to this report. Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871.

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