The newWMS Industries
The rapid rollout of the wildly popular Powerball progressive drove WMS's growth in gaming ops. The company added 800 Powerball games to its installed base during the quarter, finishing the quarter with 1,000 Powerball machines in action. Over the past year, WMS has doubled its wide-area progressive (WAP) installed base to 1,864 machines (including 900 Powerball machines), while increasing the installed base of local-area progressive (LAP) machines from none last year to 1,500, including 100 Powerball machines.
As a result, the WAP and LAP games now make up nearly half of the company's total installed base of participation games, which increased by 20% at the end of the quarter. The contribution from the higher-yielding WAP and LAP games helped the average revenue per day per machine climb 12% year over year and 7% sequentially, to $60.75.
Despite a decline in unit shipments, WMS also managed to increase product revenues by 2% to $81.2 million, as the average selling price (ASP) of slot units sold increased 15%. That figure was further boosted by the introduction of yet another lights-out product -- the new Hot Hot Super Jackpot mechanical five-reel slots -- along with higher sales of other premium-priced products. The decline in shipments reflects the continuing lull in replacement sales in the domestic market, as well as the absence of sales to the Russian market, which totaled 795 units in last year's quarter.
At roughly 20 times the analyst estimate for the current fiscal year's earnings, I have to like WMS's current price. The company's forecast came up a bit light on fiscal 2007 revenues, though the $510 million-to-$528 million range does conservatively exclude potential revenues from both Pennsylvania and Russia. But the company has continued to grow margins, while producing $94 million in operating cash flow in fiscal 2006 versus negative $4 million in operating cash flow during the previous year.
WMS clearly has a bright future; the company's video slots are among the most popular on the casino floor, and Powerball gives WMS a no-brainer WAP franchise to build on for years to come. While I still have doubts about the company's three-reel mechanical slots, WMS's five-reel mechanical games are easily the hottest product of their kind on the market, comparing favorably with similar offerings from leader IGT
Meanwhile, WMS has been buying back shares of its cheap stock, repurchasing 182,000 shares during the quarter for $4.7 million, and extending its share repurchase program by another $15 million. Given the recent run-up in shares of industry leader IGT, I believe that WMS shares offer the bigger upside and the better value at around $25 per share.
Place your bets on further Foolishness:
Which gaming technology firm made David and Gardner's list of top market-beating stocks? Find out with a free 30-day trial subscription to Motley Fool Stock Advisor.