Good Interactive Performance In I.g.t. Q1-2014 Results

Social gaming a star with revenues up 57 percent and an improved margin

The American gambling supply and content developer International Game Technology has posted its fiscal Q1-2014 results, showcasing an impressive performance by the interactive division and highlighting:

* Total revenues up 2 percent to $541 million

* GAAP earnings per share increased by 29 percent to $0.31, althoughh adjusted eps lagged 11 percent at $0.25.

* Strong social gaming performance with y-o-y revenues up 57 percent to $65 million and average bookings per daily active user grew 35 percent better at $0.42

* The firm shipped 6,100 North America replacement units to land casinos, up 20 percent

* Overall R&D costs up 11 percent at $60.3 million

* Marketing and admin costs rose 18 percent to $117.8 million

* IGT returned $226 million to shareholders in the form of share repurchases and dividends

* The interactive division's social gambling casino Double Down was GAAP accretive in the first quarter

"In our fiscal first quarter we expanded revenue while maintaining strong operating income and cash flows despite market challenges," said Patti Hart, CEO of the company.

"We remain confident that our focus on content, distribution and maximizing shareholder value while improving efficiencies will position us for success in fiscal 2014."

Whilst earnings in fiscal Q1 rose 22.3 percent to $79.2 million, the company cautioned that FY profits may be on the low side of estimates due to continued slow growth in the US market. The company was taking restrictive measures on costs to ameliorate this risk, however.

On the interactive front, the company reported that social gaming revenues had soared to $65 million, primarily driven by an increase in both average DAU (daily average users) and bookings flowing therefrom.

Average DAU were 1.7 million in the reporting period, an increase of 17 percent over the prior year quarter, whilst MAU (Monthly Average Users) reached 6.2 million, an increase of 26 percent compared to the same period last year.

Average booking per DAU was $0.42, an increase of 35 percent over the same quarter last year.

Breaking out the interactive division results of $74.6 million – up 41 percent on lst year:

* Social gaming generated revenues of $64.8 million, an increase of 57 percent

* IGTi (online gambling) revenues reached $9.8 million – down 16 percent on last year, although profits were up 5 percent due to lower royalty expenses. Developments in US online gambling legalisation could produce further benefits in this area in future.

* Margins were respectively 62 percent (up 2 percent) and 64 percent (up 13 percent)

In post-release press conferences, company officials said that the potential for fast growth presented by the mobile gambling sector has persuaded interactive division management to focus closely in this area.

CEO Hart also opined that the idea that licensing major brands for use in online game themes would produce serious commercial improvements had not yet been proven, as far as IGT was concerned.

"The really best-performing games for us that have legs for a very long time have historically been our own in-house brands. In the real-money wagering, I would say the jury is out still on the real value of big brands in that space," she said.

Online Casino News Courtesy of Infopowac

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