Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Harrah's: Worthwhile Gamble?

Sold off the Seagate (STX) for a minor loss of 13 cents a share.

Used the proceeds to add to my long-term Harrah's (HET) position. Harrah's has been hit hard recently (along with the entire gaming sector) due to the negative effects of the recent hurricanes.

Today, MGM Mirage (MGM) announced earnings that were clearly below what the Street had been expecting. Of course, much of the blame can be placed on the hurricanes. Nevertheless, the stock was pounded on and lost nearly 14% of its value today.

Other gaming stocks fell in sympathy. Among them was Harrah's. The MGM numbers weren't good, but there was still reasonably strong growth once the one-time effects were removed. So, Harrah's traded down a bit today and I snagged some at 59.45. Currently it is trading in the high 58's. But, the big day is November 3. On that day, Harrah's will be announcing their earnings. My view is that if they meet expectations the stock should move higher since the current sentiment is so negative. If the don't, then the stock might move lower, but not by too much since a lot of anticipated bad news has already been priced in. Let's not sweat the short-term moves too much. Long-term, I think the company is a winner.

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