Las Vegas Sands shares jump on analyst comments

New York (AP) — Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s flagging shares got a boost on Monday after an analyst said the casino operator’s current stock price does not reflect its potential for growth in Macau and other international markets.

Las Vegas Sands shares jumped USD 3.62, or 9.4 percent, to close at USD 42.20. During the past 52 weeks, the stock has dropped from a high of USD 148.76 in October 2007 to a low of USD 30.56 last week.

Las Vegas Sands owns the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and the Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Investors have been increasingly concerned about the impact of reduced airline capacity and high gas prices on the Las Vegas gambling market.

„In our view, current trading levels do not give (Las Vegas Sands) credit for its unfunded Macau projects, nor does the price include the company’s potential to operate in new international locations as they become available,“ said Jefferies & Co. analyst Lawrence Klatzkin in a note to investors.

„We expect its formula of ‚must-see‘ mega convention centers, mega malls and mega casinos that reinvent markets to enable it to compete for any new markets opening in the future,“ Klatzkin said, noting that potential markets may include Japan and India.

In Las Vegas, the analyst said he believes customers are making „a flight to quality“ and noted that Las Vegas Sands is outperforming the market and gaining market share.

Klatzkin maintained his „Buy“ rating on the stock, but lowered his price target to USD 93 from USD 116. He said the company’s stock remains a top pick, particularly given its 62 percent drop this year.