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Bear Stearns Raises Casino Earns Forecasts

17 July 2002

LOS ANGELES – As reported by Reuters -- Bear Stearns on Tuesday raised its second-quarter earnings forecasts for seven major casino companies, citing strength in regional gaming markets and cost-control programs implemented after the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S.

"`We expect second-quarter earnings results for the majority of gaming companies in our coverage universe to exceed both our estimates and the current street consensus estimates,' analyst Jason Ader wrote in a research note.

"Bear Stearns raised its earnings forecasts for three of the industry's four top casino operators: MGM Mirage (NYSE:MGG), Harrah's Entertainment Inc. (NYSE:HET) and Park Place Entertainment Corp. (NYSE:PPE).

"It also raised its forecasts for a number of second-tier players, including Argosy Gaming Co. (NYSE:AGY), Station Casinos Inc. (NYSE:STN), Aztar Corp. (NYSE:AZR) and Ameristar Casinos Inc.(NasdaqNM:ASCA)…"

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