Casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp said on Tuesday it closed the sale of $600 million in bonds ahead of an expected initial public offering of one of its units on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The bonds are exchangeable into common shares of the company's Macau unit on the date of the listing, the company added in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The sale, which was announced last week, is part of Las Vegas Sands' efforts to boost its financial strength.

J.P. Morgan Securities lifted its year-end price target on the company by $5 to $17, saying Macau trends boded well for the company.

We believe that there is more upside in LVS, given positive operating momentum in the Macau market, and ensuing operating leverage gains given its operating expense reductions in Macau, analyst Joseph Greff said in a note to clients.

Las Vegas Sands shares were up 52 cents, or 3.4 percent, to $16.03 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Karen Jacobs, with additional reporting by Abhishek Takle in Bangalore, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)