That news today sent MGM shares down more than 10% in pre-market trading. The stock currently sits at $80.97, down 6.4% this afternoon.
Kerkorian's announcement to acquire the Bellagio and City Center last month seemed to put all of MGM in play, with the company forming a special committee to advise management on how to proceed. Shares of MGM Mirage -- which Mr. Kerkorian owns a 56% stake in -- have jumped as much as 27% since last month's offer.
The real question: Is MGM Mirage still a takeover target? There are a number of analysts who remain convinced that MGM is a prime candidate, possibly by private-equity players looking for land deals. MGM owns a third or more of the Vegas Strip and the land could fetch a pretty penny -- BMO Capital believes a successful bid for MGM could be worth more than $100 a share.
But what about Kerkorian? Dana Cimilluca, a writer for the WSJ, considers Kerkorian's decisions a sign that it may be time for him to retire. She says that Kerkorian has now swung and missed three times: The unsuccessful attempt to ally with another auto maker--General Motors (NYSE: GM), the failed Chrysler (NYSE: DCX) bid and now the retreat from MGM's two gems.
That may seem harsh, but hey, the man is 90.