BofA Lowers AmeriStar Casinos to 'Neutral'

Analyst David Vas says much of the good news is now priced into the shares

Banc of America downgraded AmeriStar Casinos (ASCA ) to neutral from buy.

Analyst David Vas says he had upgraded in April based on fading legislative risk and improving operations. However, the stock has doubled recently as the company emerged unscathed from state legislative sessions, and reported first quarter and second quarter results.

Therefore, given the recent stock-price run, and a recovery in the valuation multiple, he believes much of the good news is now priced into the shares. He has a $1.80 2004 earnings per share estimate, which is 13 cents below consensus. He prefers to remain conservative given maturing markets and upcoming competition. He has a $22 target.