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International Game Technology Shares Lose 15%
2017-03-09 00:00:00
Geraldine Rodriguez Gian Saldevia

The stock of casino supplier International Game Technology fell more than 15 percent Thursday following the company’s fourth-quarter earnings report.

IGT reported that quarterly revenue had fallen 3 percent to $1.32 billion.Adjusted operating income fell 4 percent to $281 million.Adjusted net income, at $0.88 per share, was up 40 percent.

The company’s reported revenues nearly met the market’s estimated $1.33 billion, and earnings were much higher than the predicted $0.47 per share, but the market still responded with a sell-off.

Investors are worried about IGT’s debt load of $7.57 billion.If interest rates rise, payments could tie up a chunk of revenues.And revenues are on a downward trend.

Analysts say IGT needs to change course.

The company has snapped up a string of acquisitions in recent years, using cash to invest in the future but not paying down debt.

Given an opportunity to retire part of the debt this quarter, it declared a $0.20-per-share dividend.Given the magnitude and urgency of the company’s financial obligations, analysts say, the dividend looks like poor  judgment.

Interests rates are rising globally and analysts say there’s not much room for growth in IGT’s bread-and-butter gaming business.

All in all, it’s easy to understand why the market responded by dumping shares.

image: Yamaguchi

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