Rating Change #1

Las Vegas Sands Corp ( LVS) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 8.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 30.8%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period. Although other factors naturally played a role, the company's strong earnings growth was key. Looking ahead, unless broad bear market conditions prevail, we still see more upside potential for this stock, despite the fact that it has already risen over the past year.
  • LAS VEGAS SANDS CORP reported significant earnings per share improvement in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, LAS VEGAS SANDS CORP increased its bottom line by earning $1.56 versus $0.50 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.70 versus $1.56).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry. The net income increased by 72.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $289.32 million to $498.94 million.
  • 48.10% is the gross profit margin for LAS VEGAS SANDS CORP which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 18.10% is above that of the industry average.

Las Vegas Sands Corp., together with its subsidiaries, owns, develops, and operates various integrated resort properties primarily in the United States, Macau, and Singapore. The company has a P/E ratio of 23.9, equal to the average leisure industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Las Vegas Sands has a market cap of $37.17 billion and is part of the services sector and leisure industry. Shares are up 5.6% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

You can view the full Las Vegas Sands Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

-- Reported by Kevin Baker in Jupiter, Fla.

For additional Investment Research check out our Ratings Research Center.

For all other upgrades and downgrades made by TheStreet Ratings Model today check out our upgrades and downgrades list.
Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TheStreet Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by TheStreet.com, covering equity and mutual fund ratings. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.

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