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Analyst changes his tune on IGT

9 Mar 2010

By Howard Stutz

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Macquarie Securities gaming analyst Joel Simkins has been tough on slot machine giant International Game Technology over the past few years.

Among his many concerns, Simkins has been critical of the Reno-based company's lack of product innovation and what he has termed as IGT's misguided focus that server-based gaming would take hold and become the gaming industry's panacea.

This week, Simkins sang a new tune.

"In recent months, new (IGT) management has begun to right the ship," Simkins told investors Monday.

In a research note, Simkins wrote that IGT's retooled management has led to a development of better products and a refocusing of the company on innovation and execution.

IGT, Simkins said, is poised to benefit as the casino industry recovers and operators begin changing out older slot machine floors in favor of new products.

"While it is unlikely that IGT will ever dominate the industry as it once did in the early to mid 2000's, its huge footprint should allow the company to find stability in market share at least in the 40 percent range," Simkins said.

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