Casino Stock Winners and Losers: Ameristar

Ameristar completes a senior notes offering and also wins an upgrade.
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Shares of

Ameristar Casinos

(ASCA)

, which has completed a senior notes offering and got an upgrade from Oppenheimer, were trading higher Wednesday afternoon.

Ameristar said that it had closed private offerings of senior unsecured notes totaling $650 million. The Las Vegas-based casino operator said it used the estimated $620 million in proceeds to prepay and retire part of the outstanding revolving loans and revolving loan commitments under its senior secured credit agreement.

Oppenheimer upgraded Ameristar from perform to outperform. Ameristar shares were up 3% to $20.59.

Other casino companies were on analysts' radars Wednesday.

Las Vegas Sands

(LVS) - Get Report

was upgraded by Argus to hold from sell.

Share were trading at $9.97, up 6.9%.

Isle of Capri Casinos

(ISLE)

was upgraded by Oppenheimer from perform to outperform but downgraded by Stifel Nicolaus to hold from buy.

Steven Wieczynski of Stifel Nicolaus said the shares were trading at about 16% above his $11 price target. Isle shares were trading at 5.6% to $13.47 before 1 p.m. Wednesday.

"While we continue to believe in the long-term turnaround story, we find it difficult to justify a higher price target at this time," he wrote in a client note.

Wieczynski said St. Louis-based Isle could experience inconsistent results at its properties depending on their location, as states such as Florida and Louisiana "remain strained" while others have stabilized.

"We remain positive on the Isle story but would feel more comfortable recommending the shares under $10 unless we clearly witnessed regional gaming markets showing signs of growth," he said.

MGM Mirage

(MGM) - Get Report

was up 3.5% to $7.39.

Wynn Entertainment

(WYNN) - Get Report

was down 1% to $37.71

Boyd Gaming

(BYD) - Get Report

was up 4.4% to $10.64

Penn National Gaming

(PENN) - Get Report

was down 1.4% to $29.98.

Melco Crown Entertainment

(MPEL)

was up 6.5% to $6.22.

Pinnacle Entertainment

(PNK) - Get Report

was down 2.9% to $10.89.

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