Casino Winners: MGM Mirage Hits High

MGM Mirage hits a 52-week high as Las Vegas gaming revenue improves, sending up shares of the casino sector.
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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Casino stocks are rallying following a massive rebound in gaming revenues on the Las Vegas Strip.

MGM Mirage

(MGM) - Get Report

is the biggest gainer in the sector, hitting a 52-week high on Thursday of $15.05. Currently, shares are up 9.4% to exchange hands at $14.61.

This comes as Las Vegas Strip reports a whopping 32.9% spike in gaming revenue in February to $568 million, driven by the Chinese New Year, which fell on Feb. 14 this year compared with Jan. 26 in 2009. MGM, of course, has the greatest exposure to the Las Vegas Strip.

This news is also helping to boost

Boyd Gaming

(BYD) - Get Report

, which is soaring 6.1% to $11.53.

Earlier this week Macau also reported that gaming revenue in February surged 70% to $1.69 billion. This is good news for Macau-centric casinos like

Melco Crown Entertainment

(MPEL)

, which is rising 3.8% to $5.52 and

Las Vegas Sands

(LVS) - Get Report

, which is seeing shares grow 4.5% to $23.95 in afternoon trading.

Sands also said on Wednesday that it will resume construction on a new 300-room hotel tower at its Bethlehem casino in Pennsylvania. The company also said that it expects table games to launch in the casino starting in July.

UBS upped its price targets on

Wynn Resorts

and Las Vegas Sands to $95 and $24, respectively. The firm maintained its buy rating on Wynn, but downgraded Sands to neutral from buy.

Wynn is advancing 4.4% to $85.25 in morning trading.

This rally isn't just limited to casino operators, as slot machine makers are also getting in on the action.

International Game Technologies

(IGT) - Get Report

is jumping 3.3% to $20.04,

WMS Industries

(WMS) - Get Report

is inching up 1.6% to $44.19 and

Bally Technologies

(BYI)

is increasing 3% to $41.73.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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