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Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

Scientific Games not worried about quarterly loss

10 November 2015

Scientific Games Corp. CEO Gavin Isaacs said Monday the Las Vegas-based company is in a stronger place within the gaming equipment sector than it was a year ago despite a third-quarter loss.

The slot machine and lottery giant said its net loss for the quarter that ended Sept. 30 was $678.2 million, or $7.99 a share, because of non-cash impairment charges. A year ago the company lost $69.8 million, or 82 cents per share.

Scientific Games acquired rival Bally Technologies a year ago for $5.1 billion, but Isaacs said the merging of the two companies is virtually complete.

"The heavy lifting of integration (is) mostly behind us," Isaacs said. "Our team successfully accomplished in just eight months what we had originally expected to achieve in a year."

WMS spent $1.5 billion to acquire slot machine maker WMS Industries in 2013. The Bally deal also included ownership of SHFL entertainment.

Scientific Games, which operates divisions that touch every aspect of the legal gambling business, said revenue in the third quarter was $671.6 million, down from $691.5 million in the second quarter and below an average of $703.8 million estimated by analysts and compiled by Bloomberg News Service.

The company provides slot machines, table games and management systems to casinos and equipment for government-run lotteries.

Before the company announcing earnings, analysts said it would be hard to compare Scientific Games from a year ago because of the acquisitions.

"While revenue growth has been lackluster post acquisition, planned cost reductions should drive margin improvement," said Wells Fargo Securities gaming analyst Dennis Farrell Jr.

Farrell said investors were hoping to see Scientific Games reduce some of the company's $8.5 billion in long-term debt. Isaacs said increased cash flow allowed Scientific Games to pay down $73 million of debt in the quarter.

Billionaire Ronald Perelman, 72, is Scientific Games' chairman. He holds 40% of the company's shares.
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