January 18, 2013 at 09:09 AM EST
Wells Fargo Upgrades Las Vegas Sands (LVS)

Wells Fargo announced on Friday that they have upgraded casino operator, Las Vegas Sands Corp.(LVS).

The firm has increased their rating on LVS from “Market Perform” to “Outperform,” and has increased its price target range from $42-$49 to $60-$70. This price target suggests up to a 25% increase from the stock’s current price of $52.60

An analyst from the firm commented, “following our non-consensus and cautious call on the Macau gaming market and LVS last year, we are turning bullish on the market in 2013. We believe LVS represents one of the best companies in our space, and is likely to outperform over the next twelve months based on: (1) our bullish view on Macau in 2013, with our 16% market growth estimate ahead of 12% consensus, (2) 2013 estimates that are likely to increase, with current consensus implying only 9% Macau EBITDA growth on the Q4 run-rate, (3) improving operations at Sands Cotai Central, and plenty of excess capacity in a market that’s increasingly capacity constrained, (4) a very strong medium-term outlook, with superior leverage to Macau market growth and additional jurisdictions, and (5) strong dividend growth, with potential annual dividends of $4/share by 2017. We see a strong set of near- and medium-term catalysts, which more than offset any risks to our view.”

Las Vegas Sands shares were up 67 cents, or 1.29% during premarket trading Friday. The stock has increased 12% in the past year.

The Bottom Line
Shares of Las Vegas Sands (LVS) have a 1.93% dividend yield, based on last night’s closing stock price of $51.88. the stock has technical support in the $46-$47 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $55-$57 price levels.

Las Vegas Sands Corp.p(LVS) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks, as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here.

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