There was happy news for Shuffle Master (NASDAQ:SHFL) yesterday. The company reported positive net income of $0.10 per diluted share after the bell. This was a lot better than the net loss of $0.37 per diluted share observed last year. Over the last two quarters, Shuffle Master achieved $0.15 in diluted earnings per share, versus a net loss of $0.16 per diluted share in the comparable timeframe last year.

While that was indeed impressive, I have to note that the quarter's top line didn't do much of anything. It expanded by a scant 3%, coming in at $44.6 million. The absence of any in-process R&D costs ultimately helped the bottom line.

Shuffle Master has, quite frankly, imploded over the last year. As colleague Rich Duprey noted in his "Foolish Forecast" piece, the company's stock price has tumbled, it's yet to derive any recognizable value from the Stargames acquisition, and recent results had to be restated. Back in February, I expressed a bearish tone on the company. Any way you slice it, the hand has not been a good one.

The stock has been quite volatile around the earnings report -- yesterday's action saw a better-than-6% rise in share price during the regular session. I watched some of the after-hours trading and saw that the stock gave up half those gains at one point. The market seems quite fickle when it comes to Shuffle Master's future prospects, and it might be understandable; this once-mighty growth stock is the kind of investment idea you just want to love due to its past returns, but can't because the future seems so shaky right now.

My recent feelings on the company haven't changed -- I'm not ready to sound the all-clear on Shuffle Master, even though I still think there is potential in its business. The casino industry, which includes well-known players such as International Game Technology (NYSE:IGT), Bally Technologies (NYSE:BYI), and PokerTek (NASDAQ:PTEK), is a long-term winner, and there will be ample opportunities for Shuffle Master to exploit them -- so long as management can get its act together.

So, yes, Shuffle Master might still represent something of a gamble right now. I'm hoping that will eventually change, and that the company once again won't be as chancy as a spin on the roulette wheel.

For more information, check out Shuffle Master Gambles Away Its Earnings: Fool by Numbers.

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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns none of the companies mentioned. As of this writing, he was ranked 6,505 out of 29,767 investors in the CAPS system. Don't know what CAPS is? Check it out. The Fool has a disclosure policy.