Banc of America upgraded Ameristar Casinos (ASCA) to strong buy from buy.
Analyst David Vas says the stock is off 19% since hitting a high on April 22. He believes shares could recover lost ground with the help of three catalysts: Elimination of an overhang, tremendous operating momentum, and the third quarter 2002 opening of the company's major St. Charles expansion.
Vas sees Ameristar as a "must own," favorite small-cap gaming story with leading properties in growing markets, value-creating expansion opportunities, significant free cash flow and leverage on gaming reform. He sees $1.95 20 02 earnings per share and $2.05 for 2003. Vas has a $37 target.