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Bullish Note Lifts Las Vegas Sands

Shares of the casino operator hit a 52-week high after JPMorgan boosts its price target.

Las Vegas Sands

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shares surged 6% to a 52-week high Wednesday after an analyst upped his price target on the casino operator.

JPMorgan analyst Harry Curtis said in a research note that Las Vegas Sands' stock price doesn't reflect the company's long-term value creation opportunities in Las Vegas and Macau. Las Vegas Sands has a strong presence in both the regions, which represent the world's two largest gambling markets.

Curtis increased his target on the stock to $120 from $105. Shares recently were up $6.40 to $115.20, surpassing a 52-week high of $110 set Aug. 9.

The report also boosted other casino operators that operate in Macau, China's only legalized gambling region.

Wynn Resorts

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shares were rising 4.6% to $137.80, while

Melco PBL


climbed 1.4% to $13.72.

Curtis expects Las Vegas Sands' recently opened Venetian Macau resort to post earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization that are 15% higher than he originally projected. The casino, one of the largest properties of its kind in the world, opened to massive crowds in August.

"Both casino and non-casino revenues are stronger than expected and our data suggests there is no post-opening decline in visitation," Curtis wrote in his note.

He expects the traffic flow at the property should increase within two months when the Taipa ferries begin operations, easing transport to the island of Macau.