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International Game Tech 2Q Profit Up 6.8% On Higher Sales

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES International Game Technology's (IGT) fiscal second-quarter profit rose 6.8% on higher sales and margins despite charges related to the closure of its Japan operations. Shares rose 1.3% to $19.85 in after-hours trading as the slot-machine maker's earnings matched Wall Street's expectations but revenue fell short. The stock has climbed 75% in the past year. Chief Executive Patti Hart, who took that job a year ago, noted an increase in replacement units shipped and lower expenses, which "reflect IGT's continued efforts to navigate our business through an operating environment which remains challenging." International Game has reported that conditions are stabilizing following a sharp downturn in gambling as the recession restricted consumer spending. In February, it said it would close its operations in Japan because of difficult market conditions and lack of strategic fit. Goldman Sachs last month lowered its view on the gambling-technology sector, saying some U.S. states that were planning to allow gambling may move more slowly than previously thought. For the quarter ended March 31, International Game reported a profit of $35.9 million, or 12 cents a share, up from $33.6 million, or 11 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding charges such as those related to the shutdown in Japan, earnings rose to 20 cents a share from 13 cents as revenue rose 4.6% to $497.7 million. Analysts estimated earnings of 20 cents a share on revenue of $511.8 million, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters. Operating margin rose to 19% from 14.8%. Product shipments slid 3.7% but increased 4.2% internationally. -By Kathy Shwiff, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2357;

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