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Why International Game Technology's Shares Popped 23.4% Today

By Travis Hoium - Nov 14, 2019 at 3:29PM

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Investors are betting that IGT's future is getting brighter by the day.

What happened 

Shares of casinos and lottery supplier International Game Technology ( IGT -0.62% ) jumped as much as 23.4% in trading Thursday after the company reported third-quarter earnings. At 2:50 p.m. EST, shares were still up 23% and holding gains. 

So what

Revenue was up 3% on a constant-currency basis, to $1.15 billion, hitting expectations set by analysts. Adjusted earnings before interested, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) were down 8.2%, to $407.1 million, and earnings per share fell 32%, to $0.21 per share, well below the $0.28 estimate.

Slot machines on a casino floor.

Image source: Getty Images.

Despite the decline in the bottom line, management kept their $1.675 billion to $1.735 billion adjusted EBITDA guidance for the full year, implying $425 million in adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter at the midpoint. Management also brought down the high-end of the capital expenditure guidance by $50 million to between $450 million and $500 million.

None of these numbers were particularly shocking if you look at guidance. With the backdrop of falling casino revenue in Asia, however, it's a positive that the company is holding up well.

Now what

In recent years, IGT's performance has been tied to its ability to survive and pay down debt from an acquisition spree over the last decade. Slow-but-steady progress on that plan is another factor driving the stock higher.

Free cash flow so far in 2019 has been $456 million and net debt is down nearly $200 million this year, to $7.57 billion. If that figure keeps coming down and revenue keeps growing, this pop may continue long term for IGT stock

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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$27.02 (-0.62%) $0.17

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