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Morgan Joseph Ups Ameristar Casinos to Buy

From Standard & Poor's Equity Research

Morgan Joseph upgraded Ameristar Casinos (ASCA) to buy from hold, noting that the price of the company's shares has declined 34.4% since its May first quarter earnings announcement.

Analyst Adam Steinberg says that at the current share price levels, based on conservative estimates and a solid balance sheet, the stock's downside potential is limited. Despite near-term competitive challenges, he believes investors are overly pessimistic about the company's future probability. He thinks recent capital projects should begin to deliver postive earnings momentum. He also cut his $1.15 2006 earnings per share (EPS) estimate to $1.12, but he thinks his $1.21 2007 estimate is somewhat conservative as the Street mean forecast is $1.32. He has a $23 stock price target.

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