Jefferies Ups Isle of Capri to 'Buy'

The casino operator won a bid for the 10th Illinois gaming license

Jefferies upgraded Isle of Capri Casinos (ISLE ) to buy from hold.

Analyst Lawrence Klatzkin says Isle will be able to generate cash flow greater than Elgin's Grand Victoria, which generated $91 million EBITDA in a year to July, 2003. He notes Isle will use the Rosemont facility: barge in place, with construction partly complete, and will use a bridge to a one million square-foot convention center, two nearby hotels, and a 5,000-space parking garage.

Klatzkin says Isle can run shuttles to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, which is within 15 minutes of the casino property. Given the location, infrastructure, and tax set-up, Rosemont should be a cash windfall, Klatzkin says. He see 55 cents fourth-quarter earnings per share, $1.63 in fiscal 2004 (Apr.), and $1.78 in fiscal 2005. He upped the $22 to $24 target to $31.

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