Wall Street romances slot makers

May 22, 2001 10:49 AM

Wall Street has fallen in love with gaming machine manufacturers.

Monday, traders continued to chase the industry’s biggest names as the companies hit new 52-week highs.

Leading the list was International Game Technology (IGT). Just a week ago, IGT was trading at $53.71 a share, but Monday, buyers were paying as much as $62.28, an increase of $2.43 over the Friday close.

WMS Industries (WMS) closed last Monday at $21.50 a share but commanded a lofty $25.99 in Monday’s trading. Alliance Gaming Inc. (ALLY), parent of Bally Games & Systems, moved from last week’s $26.48 to Monday’s $29.36.

And Shuffle Master (SHFL) reached a high Monday of $33.14 a share. A week earlier, it was at $27.62. However, in late trading, the shares fell to $32.50, up 5 cents for the day.

Analysts pointed to replacement purchases and purchases by California’s Indian casinos as reasons for the manufacturers’ popularity.

UBET a winner

Youbet.com Inc. (UBET), the online betting company that has been frustrated in recent months because of exclusive arrangements between racetracks and TVG, announced a deal on Monday that could secure the company’s future.

Youbet.com and Gemstar-TV Guide, owner of TVG, have agreed to a deal that grants Youbet the technology and content from TVG, including the Breeders’ Cup and Triple Crown races.

For its part of the deal, TVG, whose activities have received the strong backing of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, will receive a percentage of UBET’s wagering revenue and also will receive warrants to purchase up to 19.9% of UBET’s outstanding stock at 1 cent a share.