MGM Mirage (MGG) on Wednesday reported its second-quarter profit nearly doubled, topping estimates, as hotel rooms filled up and gamblers flocked to its Las Vegas casinos.

The company forecast 6 percent to 8 percent growth in third-quarter hotel room revenue and backed analysts' earnings estimates for the period. Its shares rose 3 percent.

MGM, which owns the Bellagio (search) and MGM Grand (search) resorts on the Las Vegas Strip and is in the process of buying cross-town rival Mandalay Resort Group (MBG), posted a second-quarter net profit of $104.7 million or 72 cents per share, compared with $53.8 million or 35 cents per share a year earlier.

Excluding items such as pre-opening costs to prepare for new restaurants and condominium development, MGM posted a profit of 74 cents per share, compared with 43 cents a year earlier.

Wall Street's consensus estimate, on that basis, was 57 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Las Vegas has been drawing ever-growing business and tourist crowds, although Wall Street analysts have seen some sluggishness in the hotel business this summer.

Banc of America analyst J. Cogan said the company's outlook for growth in hotel room revenue should improve confidence among investors.

MGM Mirage said it was comfortable with the Wall Street consensus of 53 cents earnings per share for the third quarter.

Cogan also wrote in a research note that MGM three months ago had backed the consensus estimate for the second quarter — and then handily beat it with a "blow-out" report.

Overall revenue per available room in the second quarter rose 11 percent. Food, shopping and non-gambling entertainment revenue rose 12 percent, and casino revenue rose 8 percent, driven by a baccarat tournament and slot revenue at some Las Vegas Strip properties.

Shares rose $1.24 to $43.57 in late morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange.