Banc of America Cuts Park Place to Buy from Strong Buy

Foul weather over New Year's and fewer visitors to Las Vegas will hit earnings, analyst says

Casino gaming company Park Place Entertainment Corp. (PPE ) said it sees a breakeven fourth quarter compared to the earnings per share consensus of $0.13.

Also, Banc of America lowered its investment rating on the stock to buy from strong buy. Analyst J. Cogan said he expects an earnings per share of $0.12, given lingering competition in Mississippi, foul weather in Atlantic City and the Midwest during the New Year's holiday weekend, and moderating Las Vegas visitation trends.

The analyst also lowered his 2000 earnings per share estimate to $0.56 from $0.78, and his 2001 earnings per share estimate to $0.62 from $0.80. Cogan also lowered his $20 price target on the stock to $13.

Shares of Park Place Entertainment were trading unchanged at $10.

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