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LAS VEGAS-The share price performance of Harrahs Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands Corp. pushed a gaming index focused on publicly-held companies to an all-time high in October. Created by locally based Applied Analysis, the gaming index rose by 9.3% in October.

The research firm’s Index tracks the daily average stock prices of nine gaming companies with significant operations in Nevada. Launched in 1998 with a value of 100, the Index crested in May at 379.3 and declined in June, July and August, bottoming out at 337 before recovering to 349.1 in September. October saw the index gain 9.3%, or 32.4 points, to 381.5.

About 85% of the increase is due to the increase in the daily average share price of both Harrahs and Las Vegas Sands Corp. On news of a potential leveraged buyout, Harrahs daily average share price ended in October 16% above where it stood at the end of September and 21.7% ahead of where it stood at the end of October 2005.

Las Vegas Sands, which is ahead of competition in developing casinos in China and Singapore, saw its share price rise along with Harrahs in the first few days after news of the LBO broker in early October. It ended the month 9.6% ahead of September’s results and 132% ahead of where it stood the end of October 2005.

In all, eight of the nine companies in the index ended October with higher daily average share prices than the end of September; the one that did not, Wynn Resorts, was down nominally. On a year-over-year basis, eight of nine companies ended October with higher daily average share prices than 12 months earlier.

Only a couple of index companies released earnings before the end of the month. Harrahs revenues rose 11% and same-store sales were up 8%. Boyd Gaming’s third quarter revenue was up 1.4% from only a year ago, in part due to increased gaming options in the Vegas locals market.

Three index companies, Las Vegas Sands, MGM Mirage and Station Casinos, released results this week. Las Vegas Sands reported a 21% rise in profit, MGM Mirage reported a 68% increase in profit and Station Casinos reported a 51% decrease in profit. For more on their third quarter results, click here

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