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Why Investors Are Gambling on Boyd Gaming Today

By Travis Hoium - Apr 11, 2013 at 6:46PM

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Is this meaningful or just another movement?

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Boyd Gaming (NYSE: BYD) jumped 10% today after the company got an analyst upgrade.

So what: Morgan Stanley upgraded shares to overweight today, and gave the stock a $12 price target. The analyst cited the potential for online gaming as the driver of the stock, potentially bringing as much revenue to the industry as Las Vegas and Atlantic City combined.  

Now what: Online gaming is slowly being legalized across the U.S., with Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware being the first to allow it. Boyd has a potentially lucrative partnership with bwin.party and MGM Resorts (NYSE: MGM), which could lead to huge profit growth, as I pointed out over a year ago. I wouldn't buy on this analyst upgrade alone, but the potential for online gaming is too big to ignore. I've built some estimates before (which can be seen here) and there's huge upside for both Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts, but only if its legalized nationally. Until then, the potential for online gaming is minimal for Boyd.

Interested in more info on Boyd Gaming? Add it to your watchlist by clicking here.

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