Ameristar: A Better Bet - TheStreet

Ameristar: A Better Bet

Ameristar Casino is upgraded to buy.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- Analysts are upping their bet on

Ameristar Casino

(ASCA)

.

Janney Capital Markets analyst Brian McGill upgraded the casino operator to buy from neutral, citing lower capital spending and probable market share gain from its Black Hawk casino property in Colorado.

Mad About Options: A look at Cramer's take on WYNN Resorts (WYNN)

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Ameristar also does not have any future capital projects, which means free cash flow will probably be strong in 2010 and 2011. McGill expects this extra cash will be used to pay down debt.

"We think Ameristar's focus on cash-flow generation, rather than new markets or property expansions, makes it one of the safest names to own among the casino operators," he wrote in a note.

McGill also raised his price target on the stock to $20 from $18.

Last week the company the company posted a

third-quarter profit gain

as it benefitted from cost cuts and a lower tax rate.

This is in stark contrast to other casino rivals, like

Wynn Resorts

(WYNN) - Get Report

and

Boyd Gaming

(BYD) - Get Report

, which saw double-digit profit declines, and

MGM Mirage

(MGM) - Get Report

and

Las Vegas Sands

(LVS) - Get Report

, which also reported losses in their most recent quarter.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York

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