Why Shares of Scientific Games Corp Soared

Is this meaningful? Or just another movement?

Mar 13, 2014 at 5:52PM

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Scientific Games Corp (NASDAQ:SGMS) were charging higher today, gaining as much as 24%, and finishing up 16% after reporting fourth-quarter earnings.

So what: The lottery-and-gaming company said revenue jumped 63%, to $401.9 million, easily beating estimates of $388 million. The strong revenue growth was mainly due to its acquisition of WMS Industries, which closed last October. Adjusted earnings per share of $0.03 missed estimates of $0.07, but investors seemed more enthused about the benefits of the acquisition. CEO David Kennedy also said that organic growth from its lottery business was "solid," adding to the gains from WMS.

Now what: Scientific Games also said efforts to integrate the acquisition remain on track, and that it expects to see $100 million in annual cost savings by the end of 2015. The company did not provide guidance, but those savings would have a serious impact on the bottom line as the gaming specialist reported operating loss of $18 million in 2013 on just more than $1 billion. As long as the integration goes according to plan, investors in Scientific Games should have significant profits to look forward to this year and next.

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Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

A Financial Plan on an Index Card

Keeping it simple.

Aug 7, 2015 at 11:26AM

Two years ago, University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack wrote his entire financial plan on an index card.

It blew up. People loved the idea. Financial advice is often intentionally complicated. Obscurity lets advisors charge higher fees. But the most important parts are painfully simple. Here's how Pollack put it:

The card came out of chat I had regarding what I view as the financial industry's basic dilemma: The best investment advice fits on an index card. A commenter asked for the actual index card. Although I was originally speaking in metaphor, I grabbed a pen and one of my daughter's note cards, scribbled this out in maybe three minutes, snapped a picture with my iPhone, and the rest was history.

More advisors and investors caught onto the idea and started writing their own financial plans on a single index card.

I love the exercise, because it makes you think about what's important and forces you to be succinct.

So, here's my index-card financial plan:


Everything else is details. 

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