Let me confess. This time last quarter, I thought about picking up some shares of slot-making superstarInternational Game Technology (NYSE:IGT) at around $37 a pop. Quarter after quarter, the company had rolled on, and the growth opportunities seemed endless. So, the Rule Maker investor in me wanted to consider it, but the value investor in me balked at what seemed like a fully fair valuation.

You know something funny? The stock has climbed 25% since. So last night, I thought: "Please, IGT, just surprise me. Make a mistake or something!"

I really just wanted another crack at it. After all, competitor Alliance Gaming (NYSE:AGI) took an 11% hit yesterday after the company missed analyst estimates due to a shipment delay, even though it recorded a 50% gain in earnings per share. Maybe my darling IGT could grant me the same opportunity?


IGT did drop 4% early this morning after the company merely met expectations with a second-quarter jump in profits of 32% to $117.7 million, or $0.32 per share. But the stock promptly retraced the bulk of that decline, perhaps as buyers and sellers realized that sales continued to beat expectations and that the company maintained its full-year earnings guidance.

Or perhaps it was that revenues climbed 20% to $636.1 million, easily ahead of estimates, as worldwide slot sales jumped 31% to 45,400 units, while domestic sales climbed 37% to 27,200 units. Domestic replacement sales, moreover, were up a whopping 68% to 23,400, as casino operators such as Harrah's Entertainment (NYSE:HET), Ameristar Casinos (NASDAQ:ASCA), Argosy Gaming (NYSE:AGY), and Station Casinos (NYSE:STN) continue to convert to cashless slots.

Perhaps I should go "on tilt" and convince myself to "Buy It Now" like on eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY)? Not today. Turns out, IGT did surprise by merely meeting earnings expectations, and after a brief rally, the stock has turned south again this afternoon. But I missed my opportunity. The Fool's trading policy precludes me from acting on such emotions -- for now, anyway.

Maybe next time.

Is IGT still a buy? Give us your take on the International Game Technology discussion board.

Fool contributor Jeff Hwang owns shares of Ameristar Casinos and eBay.