Analyst raises rating on WMS Industries

Feb 18, 2009 9:32 PM
Staff & Wire Reports |

A JPMorgan analyst boosted his rating on WMS Industries Inc. Wednesday, saying the slot machine maker's stock is trading close to his price target and faces limited downside.

Earlier this month, Joseph Greff reduced his rating on Waukegan, Ill.-based WMS to "Underweight" from "Overweight," partly on his forecast for fewer U.S. slot opportunities in the next six to 12 months. The analyst also considered WMS's revenue outlook for the second half of the year aggressive.

But Greff upgraded WMS to "Neutral" Wednesday, citing its new slot products and more balanced risk/reward profile.

On Feb. 4 Greff gave WMS an $18 price target. The stock opened at $18.57 on Wednesday.

Unlike casino operators who are struggling as consumers curb their discretionary spending, casino equipment suppliers have managed to stay somewhat above the economic upheaval because there is still an industry need for their products.

Last month WMS said its fiscal second-quarter profit surged 48 percent, helped by increased shipments and improved average selling price.

Shares of WMS gained 17 cents to $18.27 in morning trading.

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