Banc of America upgraded Caesars Entertainment (CZR ) to buy from neutral.
Analyst J. Cogan says he's been on the fence with Caesers for a while, but says the MGM Mirage/Mandalay Resorts merger news knocked him into the buy camp. He notes the bid could fuel questions of, "Who's next?"
He says Caesers could be viewed as a more likely potential acquisition candidate by Harrah's Entertainment, given its desire for increased Vegas exposure, strong brands, and the desire to further consolidate the industry. Even if another mega-deal isn't in the making, he thinks Caesars could still outperform.
Cogan says relative valuation, improved operations, and a "better-than-before" growth story all help Caesars' cause. He upped the $15 target to $18.