Casino Losers: MGM Mirage, Melco

Casino stocks are taking a hit Thursday after MGM Mirage says it expects to post a loss in its first quarter.
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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Casinos are taking a hit Thursday morning, after MGM Mirage (MGM) - Get Report announced that its first-quarter earnings results will disappoint.

MGM said after the bell on Wednesday that it now expects to lose $96.7 million, or 22 cents a share, during the quarter, hurt by write-downs related to its newest CityCenter development. Analysts were looking for a loss of 21 cents a share. MGM reported a profit of $105.2 million, or 38 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

The company also said that it expects revenue of about $1.46 billion.

"We believe MGM is now in the process of 'right-sizing' CityCenter, as the property's brand awareness rises, and the economy continues to potentially strengthen," Sterne Agee analyst David Bain wrote in a note.

The biggest concern is the performance of MGM's Las Vegas Strip assets, KeyBanc analyst Dennis Forst, wrote in a note. "The nine wholly owned properties generated $205 million in EBITDA versus $283 million in the first quarter of 2009 and our $251 million estimate. Every property was down year-over-year and missed our forecasts."

As a result, shares of the company are tumbling 5.3% to $14.60 in early trading. The trend is also bringing down rivals like

Las Vegas Sands

(LVS) - Get Report

, which is falling 0.8% to $23.80,

Boyd Gaming

(BYD) - Get Report

, which is off 1.5% to $11.92, and

Isle of Capri Casinos

(ISLE)

, which is declining 0.5% to $11.

Even

Wynn Resorts

(WYNN) - Get Report

, which saw its price target raised to $60 from $45 by KeyBanc, is essentially flat, changing hands at $86.37.

Melco Crown Entertainment

(MPEL)

was also cut to neutral by Credit Suisse. Still, the firm upped its price target on the stock to $5.60 from $5.25.

Shares of the casino, which is based in Macau, are tumbling 5% to $4.90.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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