Shares of Trump Entertainment Resorts plummeted 16.6% to $10.49, losing as much as 20% intra-day, on news the company's Board of Directors concluded a review of strategic options after consulting with financial advisor Merrill Lynch, resulting in no acquisition of the company and no current ongoing discussions with any previously interested parties. Trump Entertainment said it will "continue to review other strategic corporate options while implementing its strategic operating plan," which includes targeting improved margins through cost cutting, investing in property upgrades and emphasizing better customer service to help build market share. A Goldman Sachs analyst lowered his rating of Trump to "Neutral" from "Buy," saying, "Although we continue to believe that the turnaround strategy is in place, the potential for a transaction was boosting our expectations for the stock." A Bear Stearns analyst focused on the company's inability to complete a deal despite its stock falling 30% since it hired Merrill Lynch in early March. A Nollenberger Capital analyst was most critical, calling the assets "old and tired" and being the source of the "problem."
Sources: Press release, Bloomberg, MarketWatch, TheStreet.com, Wall Street Journal
Commentary: Smoking Ban Should Cut into Trump's A.C. Gaming Revenue • Jim Cramer's Take on Trump Entertainment Resorts • Trump Entertainment: Board Needs to Boot 'The Donald'
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc. (TRMP). Competitors: Boyd Gaming Corp. (BYD), Harrah's Entertainment Inc. (HET), MGM Mirage (MGM)
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