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2-Star Stocks Poised to Plunge: Ameristar Casinos?

Based on the aggregated intelligence of 130,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, casino operator Ameristar Casinos (Nasdaq: ASCA  ) has received a distressing two-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at Ameristar's business, and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

Ameristar Casinos facts

Headquarters (founded)

Las Vegas, NV (1954)

Market Cap

$787.0 million


Casinos and gaming

TTM Revenue

$1.27 billion


CEO Gordon Kanofsky (since 2008)
CFO Thomas Steinbauer (since 2003)

Return on Equity (average, last five years and TTM)

7.7% and (31%)


Pinnacle Entertainment (NYSE: PNK  )
Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS  )
MGM Mirage (NYSE: MGM  )

CAPS members bearish on ASCA also bearish on

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  )
Palm (Nasdaq: PALM  )

CAPS members bullish on ASCA bullish on

Buffalo Wild Wings (Nasdaq: BWLD  )

Sources: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's, and Motley Fool CAPS. TTM = trailing 12 months.

Over on CAPS, 45 of the 254 members who have rated Ameristar -- some 18% -- believe the stock will underperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bears include All-Star bigpeach and ALPHADividend.

Last week, bigpeach warned that Ameristar "is facing a lot of new competition from Harrahs and [Pinnacle]. [Pinnacle's] new properties are larger and more spectacular; the kind of thing gamblers like." Our CAPS member concludes: "[Ameristar] has been slow to respond to this increased competition and I'm betting they'll lose a lot of market share over the next few years."

In a pitch from the same day, ALPHADividend takes a more quantitative approach to betting against the casino:

This company was individually screened to verify that during the boom years ('04-'08), their Balance Sheet expansion appeared excessive or at the very least aggressive. At some point or another, something's gotta give with this company. Income will start collapsing due to debt levels, and/or dividends will be slashed or removed, and/or significant losses will be realized. The chances of this being a growth company or having significant growth is heavily muted due to its dividend paying obligations at the current levels of today.

What do you think about Ameristar Casinos, or any other stock for that matter? Make your voice heard on Motley Fool CAPS today. More than 130,000 investors are waiting to hear what you have to say. CAPS is 100% free, so simply click here to get started.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Ameristar Casinos and Buffalo Wild Wings are picks of Motley Fool Hidden Gems. The Fool owns shares of Buffalo Wild Wings. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.

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Ameristar Casinos CAPS Rating: No stars
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