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Vegas Outlook Brighter, Even For MGM

Quarterly growth in Las Vegas is lifting shares of MGM Resorts International (MGM) today, despite the casino-hotel operator's lumpy earnings report.

MGM shares jumped more than 4% in early trading, even though MGM's third-quarter earnings per share of 34 cents missed the analyst forecast by 1 cent. The reason: MGM reported a better-than-anticipated Las Vegas Strip net revenues of $1.53 billion, earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $514 million and property margins of 33.6%. Revenue per available room on the Strip expanded by 4.2% year-over-year, better than the company's guidance of 2% to 3% growth, note J.P. Morgan analysts Joseph Greff, Daniel Politzer, Brandt Montour and Omer N. Sander. They note that Vegas business is recovering from the deadly shooting in October: