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Jefferies Repeats Strong Buy on MTR Gaming

Jefferies repeated its strong buy on MTR Gaming (MNTG), saying it sees a big buying opportunity for the casino operator. The company announced it sees fourth quarter earnings per share in the $0.10 to $0.11 and first quarter earnings per share in the $0.16 to $0.18. Analyst Lawrence Klatzkin says that the higher SG&A costs are mostly due to staffing the new hotel at MTR Gaming's Mountaineer resort.

Klatzkin says the company should see revenue flow from the hotel in April 2002. He notes that 40 rooms already turned over and thinks that the company will have all rooms booked in advance. He notes that the company applied for new machines, including 500 which are to be delivered by the third quarter. He believes the company's accounting is conservative. He puts $1.32 fiscal year 2002 (Mar.) earnings per share estimate under revision, noting company's guidance in the $0.96 to $1.03 range. He sees fiscal year 2003 earnings per share of $1.77 and has a $19.50 target on the stock.

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