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Analyst Hikes Estimates on Eight Gaming Companies

27 March 2002

LAS VEGAS -- Bear Stearns gaming analyst Jason Ader raised his first quarter estimates on eight gaming companies this morning, including MGM Mirage, Park Place Entertainment Corp. and Harrah's Entertainment Inc.

Ader boosted his estimate on MGM Mirage from 29 cents to 34 cents per share; for Park Place, from 7 cents to 9 cents per share; and for Harrah's, from 48 cents to 52 cents per share. Still, he urged investors to use caution in investing in gaming stocks, citing the substantial run-up in gaming stock prices over the last several months.

Ader cited seven reasons for his increased expectations: lower costs and better marketing programs; continued strength from regional riverboat markets; mild weather; lower energy and gasoline prices; improving consumer confidence; an additional weekend in March over last year's calendar; and "steadily improving trends," including a strong convention season and strong high-end play over Chinese New Year.

Ader also raised estimates on Aztar Corp., the operator of the Las Vegas Strip's Tropicana, increasing his estimate from 30 cents to 32 cents per share. He also raised estimates on Ameristar Casinos, Penn National Gaming, Hollywood Casinos and Argosy Gaming.

This morning, MGM Mirage fell 47 cents to $35.19; Harrah's declined 25 cents to $43.51; and Park Place rose 5 cents to $10.45.

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