) reported first-quarter earnings per share of $1.30, vs. 69 cents a year ago, on an 18% revenue rise. Legg Mason raised earnings estimates and price target on the news.
Analyst Rod Petrik says first-quarter EPS flew past his $1.12 estimate and $1.11 consensus forecast. He notes upside was driven by increased customer traffic from opening of THEhotel, Mandalay Place, a new Mandalay Bay convention center, and overall strong demand along the Las Vegas Strip.
Petrik raised his $3.51 fiscal year 2005 (January) EPS estimate to $3.80, and $3.79 fiscal year 2006 forecast to $4.25, as he expects Las Vegas visitation to remain strong. He continues to be very bullish on near-term prospects for Vegas as demand continues to grow and supply is restrained, resulting in higher occupancy and room rates.
He raised his $65 price target to $70. He has a buy rating on the shares.