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Chris Sieroty

Bally Technologies' $228.6 million third-quarter revenues a record

27 April 2012

Bally Technologies Inc.'s focus on producing video slot machines featuring pop icons such as Michael Jackson and the Beach Boys helped the game manufacturer post record quarterly earnings and revenues.

The Las Vegas-based company on Thursday reported third-quarter net income of $29.9 million, or 67 cents a share, compared with $23.7 million, or 43 cents a share, for the same period last fiscal year.

Bally Technologies, Inc. reported third-quarter revenues of $228.6 million, compared with $191 million for the same period in 2011.

"The past several months have been momentous," said Richard Haddrill, Bally's CEO.

Bally Technologies' third-quarter earnings per share were in line with analyst expectations, while revenues were modestly above forecasts. Gaming industry analysts surveyed by Yahoo Finance expected earnings of 66 cents a share on revenue of $223.5 million.

In a conference call Thursday Haddrill said the company sold 170 units of its "Grease" video slot machine, which is based on the 1978 movie, since its March release, a number that "exceeded our expectations."

He said Bally will start placing its "Michael Jackson: King of Pop" video slot ahead of schedule in May or June. The company also expects to benefit in the fourth quarter from its "Beach Boys" video slot machine, which was released in April.

Haddrill told analysts the company raised its earnings guidance for fiscal 2012, ending June 30, to $2.45 a share, up from $2.37. Analysts' expectations were for fiscal 2012 earnings of $2.41 a share.

"Most importantly, our third-quarter financial and operating results are showing the payoffs from multiple investments as we execute on our growth initiatives," Haddrill said.

During the quarter, Bally saw its average sale price of new gaming devices increase 10 percent to $17,073 per unit, up from $15,556 last year. The company attributed the increase to "product mix and an increase in average sale price from international sales."

Revenues from gaming equipment jumped 24 percent to $79 million, compared to $64 million last year. Gaming operations revenues rose 16 percent to a quarterly record of $93 million, compared to $80 million in the third quarter of 2011. Operating income was $50 million compared with $38 million last year.

"We continue to thoughtfully allocate capital to invest in our growth as well as to enhance shareholder value," said Neil Davidson, Bally's chief financial officer. "This quarter represents the 18th quarter in a row that we have repurchased stock."

Since Dec. 31, Davidson said, Bally has repurchased some 1.2 million shares of common stock for $54 million at $45.69 per share. He said the company spent $41 million in the third quarter to buy back its shares, and Bally has about $57 million available for share repurchase.

Bally's shares gained 20 cents, or 0.42 percent, to close at $47.63 on heavy volume of 515,975 shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The company's shares were halted briefly in after-hours trading after earnings were released.