Biggest gainer: Ameristar Casinos
Most stocks of Las Vegas-based companies fell this week along with the broader stock market amid continuing uncertainties about the fiscal cliff, with the Standard & Poor's 500 index off 1.45 percent. Local gaming companies with stocks declining from their closes on Nov. 9 included Las Vegas Sands Corp., MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Caesars Entertainment Corp. The nongaming sector was hit as well with NV Energy and Southwest Gas both falling.
Exceptions included Boyd Gaming, up 0.6 percent; Pinnacle Entertainment, up 0.8 percent; and Ameristar Casinos jumping 11 percent from its Nov. 9 close to finish at $19.52. Investors appear to view Ameristar as potentially following the lead of Penn National Gaming with a plan to split itself into two companies, one owning real estate and the other operating leased casino properties from the real estate company. Pennsylvania-based Penn National, owner of the M Resort in Henderson, rose 28 percent Friday on that news.
Biggest decliner: Tropicana Entertainment
Thinly traded Tropicana Entertainment, investor Carl Icahn's gaming company, fell 12.5 percent from the $14 level that was established in late October and that continued through early this week. The company reported a higher third-quarter profit thanks to lower interest expenses, but said net revenue fell. Investors also have been wondering how the Atlantic City gaming market will rebound after Hurricane Sandy forced the temporary closure of casinos there.