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7 Casino Stocks to Play

Stocks in this article: MPEL ASCA WYNN PENN BYD MGM LVS

4. Penn National Gaming (PENN), a diversified, multi-jurisdictional owner and manager of gaming and pari-mutuel properties, owns, manages, or has interests in 23 facilities in 16 jurisdictions. The company owns Hollywood Casino Bay St. Louis and Boomtown Biloxi, CRC Holdings, the Bullwhackers properties, among others.

The company is scheduled to release its second quarter earnings on July 21, 2011. The company estimates net revenues to come in at $682.7 million. Meanwhile, adjusted EBITDA is seen at $179.4 million as compared to $142.2 million in year ago quarter. Earnings per share is seen at 47 cents per share as compared to 9 cents per share in year ago quarter. For full year 2011, the company updated revenue guidance to $2.707.5 million from $2,688.3 million provided earlier. Earnings per share estimate was raised to $1.64 from $1.48 earlier.

Moody's Investors Services has raised Penn's outlook from stable to positive, saying the company has outperformed rivals and has improved its credit profile. The rating agency adds that Penn has been improving its operating performance in the prior quarters despite a negative impact on the U.S. gaming sector.

The company recently reached an agreement with the Ohio state government by paying $110 million for a 10-year period, clearing the way for building casinos in Columbus and Toledo. Additionally, early June, Penn acquired M Resort Spa Casino for $230.5 million through an outright purchase of its entire outstanding debt. Located at the southeast corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and St. Rose Parkway, the M Resort Spa Casino is spread over 90 acres.

Of the 22 analysts covering the stock, 77% recommend a buy and 14% suggest a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg foresee the stock gaining an average 11.6% to $44.94 in the upcoming 12 months.

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