Las Vegas Sands: Casino Stock Losers

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Casino stocks are in the red on downgrades and a weak recovery in the Las Vegas locals market.

Las Vegas Sands ( LVS) is falling 4.3% to $49.89, after UBS cut its rating to neutral from buy. While the firm said it still views Sands as a solid long-term bet, it would wait for a more attractive entry point.

Nevada reported on Wednesday a 0.7% uptick in September gaming revenues in the state to $917.9 million, while the Las Vegas Strip experienced a 2.8% jump to $520.6 million.

The continued recovery in Las Vegas sent shares of MGM Resorts ( MGM) advancing 2.7% to $13.35 in morning trading.

But the recovery in the Las Vegas locals market remains non-existent, as gaming revenue slipped 0.3% to $174.2 million. As a result, shares of Boyd Gaming, which operates a large chunk of its casinos in the locals market, are tumbling 4% to $9.95.

Slot machine maker International Game Technologies ( IGT) is dropping 2.9% to $15.85 after reporting fourth-quarter results that missed estimates and issued a disappointing outlook.

During the quarter the company earned $19.9 million, or 7 cents a share, compared with a loss of $28,6 million, or 10 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding one-time items IGT earned 18 cents a share, a penny shy of forecasts. Revenue sunk 3% to $496 million.

Looking ahead, IGT expects fiscal 2011 earnings in the range of 77 cents to 87 cents a share, compared with Wall Street's forecast of 95 cents.

"Until there are signs of significant improvement in the slot replacement cycle, we continue to believe that supplier equities will trade less in tandem with one another, and that supplier equity multiples will be more reflective of company-specific growth opportunities," Sterne Agee analyst David Bain wrote in a note to investors.

Shares of rival WMS Industries ( WMS) are also down 1% to $44.08, while Bally Technologies ( BYI) is losing 1.7% to $36.21.

--Written by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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