April 8, 2010 / 6:43 PM / 9 years ago

Casino shares up as Nevada gaming revenues rise

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Shares of MGM Mirage (MGM.N) and other casino operators shot above their year highs on Thursday after the state of Nevada posted a double-digit percentage increase in gaming revenues for February.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board reported on Thursday that total gaming revenues came to $946.6 million in February, up 13.9 percent from the same month a year earlier. On the Las Vegas Strip, gaming revenues for the month came to nearly $568 million, up 32.9 percent from the year earlier.

“We think results were helped by the timing of Chinese New Year,” which was celebrated in February this year as opposed to January for last year, J.P. Morgan analyst Joseph Greff said in a note to clients.

MGM Mirage shares were up 8.8 percent to $14.53, above their previous 52-week high of $14.25. Rival Las Vegas Sands (LVS.N) gained 5.9 percent to $24.29 and Wynn Resorts (WYNN.O) shares were up 5.4 percent to $86.04.

Reporting by Karen Jacobs, editing by Leslie Gevirtz

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