BofA Upgrades Ameristar Casinos to 'Buy'

Analyst J. Cogan notes a lack of bad news from state legislators in the coming months could remove some overhang on the casino operator

Banc of America upgraded Ameristar Casinos (ASCA ) to buy from neutral.

Analyst J. Cogan says legislative risk kept him cautious on small cap gaming stocks. He felt sizable state budget shortfalls would potentially cause state legislators to view gaming as a source of tax revenues via new competitive jurisdictions/properties or gaming tax hikes. He notes states are just past the mid-point of state budget sessions, however, and gaming legislation has so far been somewhat uneventful -- a positive for small cap casino operators, whose assets often border states without gaming. Cogan notes a lack of bad news in the coming months could remove some overhang. He has a $17 target.

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