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Gaming Guru

Howard Stutz

Record sales help Bally Technologies flirt with $1 billion in revenues

16 August 2013

LAS VEGAS -- Record sales in the company’s systems division, coupled with expansion into new gaming markets, helped slot machine manufacturer Bally Technologies, Inc. reach overall revenues of just under $1 billion in the company’s recently completed fiscal year.

Bally, which announced plans last month to acquire rival equipment manufacturer SHFL Entertainment for $1.3 billion, said Thursday it grew both profits and revenues during the fourth quarter that ended June 30.

“We made enormous progress in many different ways, including continued growth in wide-area progressive units, record gaming operations revenue, (and) significant success in new markets like Canada, Illinois, and South Africa,” Bally Chief Executive Officer Ramesh Srinivasan.

Bally grew net income 32 percent to $64.6 million in the quarter while earnings per share increased to 95 cents per share, compared with 61 cents per share a year ago.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial Network expected Bally to report earnings per share of 94 cents.

Revenues in the fourth quarter increased 8 percent to $264.4 million, which included a 32 percent increase in revenues from the company’s gaming management systems division.

For the full fiscal year, Bally’s earnings per share was $3.45, based on income of $235.5 million, a 41 percent increase. The company’s overall full-year revenues of $997 million was an increase of 13 percent.

“The growth and stability of our revenues that are recurring in nature continue to provide significant financial flexibility,” Bally Chief Financial Officer Neil Davidson said in a statement. “With the planned acquisition of SHFL, we now expect to utilize the majority of our excess free cash flow to repay debt.”

Bally said it will pay SHFL shareholders $23.25 per share to acquire the company, which sells table game management products and systems, proprietary table games and electronic table games.

The transaction is expected to close next year.

“The planned acquisition of SHFL will position us even better as an innovative end-to-end gaming solutions provider,” Srinivasan said.

Bally announced earnings after the stock markets closed Thursday. Shares of the company finished the day at $73.19, down $1.43 or 1.92 percent. However, shares increased almost 2 percent in after hours trading.

Before the company announced earnings, Eilers Research gaming analyst Todd Eilers said Bally’s two-to-three-year growth outlook will be strengthened by the SHFL acquisition.

“We believe Bally’s scale and distribution capabilities can expand SHFL’s e-table and emerging slots business domestically while SHFL can boost Bally’s presence in international markets namely AsiaPacific and to a lessor extend Europe and Latin America,” Eilers said.