After the bell yesterday, Class II slot manufacturer Multimedia Games
For the fourth quarter, Multimedia saw revenue climb 38.9% to $42.7 million and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) climb 24.9% to $22.7 million. Net income, which fell 3.1% to $7.2 million, amounted to $0.24 per share, beating analyst estimates by a penny.
Looking ahead, the company forecast first-quarter earnings of $4.7 million to $5.2 million, or $0.16 to $0.17 per share -- well short of the $0.25 per share analyst estimate. As a result, the stock was left trading at a mere 10 times trailing earnings.
But whether or not this indicates a buying opportunity depends on the investor.
We've talked a lot over the past year about the explosive growth in the gaming industry and the key beneficiaries. The list of top slot players includes International Game Technology
To date, Multimedia has primarily done business with casinos run by Native American tribes, its biggest market being Oklahoma. During the fourth quarter, 70% of the company's revenues came from Class II "electronic bingo" games. These devices are meant to simulate the function of the traditional -- but more highly regulated and more lucrative -- Class III slots manufactured by the other big slot players; basically, these machines go where bingo and lottery-style games are legal and Class III gaming isn't.
On the downside, Multimedia indicated that recent gaming legislation in Oklahoma, which allows "limited expansion of gaming to four racetracks in the state" will open up competition. In addition, the other slot makers that had previously shunned Class II gaming -- including IGT and Alliance Gaming -- are now in play, providing stiff competition in a field Multimedia previously had virtually all to itself.
The stock might be the cheapest of all the companies mentioned here. And if you have any insight into Multimedia Games that might give you an edge, the stock might be worth a look. Otherwise, if you're looking to play in this field I'd suggest that you stick to the more familiar names in the list.
For more on slot machines, check out:
- Gambling on Slots
- This Stock Hits the Slot
- Alliance Gaming Misses the Jackpot
- The Magnitude of Pennsylvania's Slots
- Those Pennies Add Up
Fool contributor Jeff Hwang owns shares of International Game Technology.