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Howard Stutz

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Bally posts profit and revenue gains

7 Nov 2008

By Howard Stutz

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- In a market where casinos are not readily spending money on new slot machines, Bally Technologies grew both profits and revenues in the recently completed first quarter.

The Las Vegas-based slot machine provider said Thursday its net income was $30.3 million, or 52 cents a share, for its first quarter ended Sept. 30, up from net income of $21.3 million, or 37 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had predicted earnings of 49 cents a share for Bally Technologies.

Revenues rose 25.6 percent to $237.4 million from $189 million.

"The continued momentum in all of our technology businesses drove first-quarter earnings," Bally Chief Executive Officer Richard Haddrill said in a statement. "Despite challenging economic and capital market conditions, we continue to grow our businesses through innovation and execution, which are driving market-share gains."

During the quarter, Bally shipped 6,598 new slot machines, a 28 percent increase from a year ago. Revenues from the slot machine sales were $107 million, an increase of 27 percent.

Sales from casino and slot machine management systems were $52 million, an increase of 33 percent.

Bally reported earnings after the stock markets closed Thursday. Shares of the company ended the day at $21.13 on the New York Stock Exchange, down $2.17, or 9.31 percent.

In a note to investors before earnings were released, Morgan Joseph gaming analyst Justin Sebastiano estimated that Bally's share of the domestic slot machine market had been in the low teens, but could be nearing 20 percent to 25 percent this quarter.

"The company has been known for its strength in the stepper (mechanical reel) market but it has made significant gains on the video side of the business on both the domestic and international fronts," Sebastiano said.

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