he us$ 2.4 billion Venetian Macao opened late last month, and has been widely cheered by analysts on its initial performance.
Shares of Las Vegas Sands gained us$ 7.64, or 7 percent, to us$ 116.47 in morning trading. The stock hit a fresh high of us$ 116.75 earlier in the session, eclipsing a previous peak of us$ 110 set August 9.
JPMorgan’s Harry Curtis lifted his price target on Las Vegas Sands by us$ 15 to us$ 120 and maintained an "Overweight" rating. He also raised his 2010 estimate for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization by 15 percent to us$ 800 million, due to better-than-expected consumer demand at the Venetian Macao.
In a note to clients, Curtis said data shows no post-opening visitation dropoff at the resort, and traffic is likely to improve within two months when ferries start running from Taipa, the smallest of the Macau islands.
Las Vegas Sands may also benefit from projects in Japan and at Hengqin Island. Las Vegas Sands has a us$ 13 billion resort planned for Hengqin, which is near Macau.
Curtis said so far he views Hengqin adding us$ 1 to his price target, but the project could be worth an additional us$ 20 per share of present value.
Other projects could be worth an additional us$ 5 to us$ 10 per share, he added.