Shufflemaster sees strong earnings

Oct 30, 2001 4:54 AM

Shuffle Master Inc. (SHFL) won’t see the end of the fourth fiscal quarter until Oct. 31 but company officials believe earnings for the period will be between $0.15 and $0.16.

For the fiscal year, officials said, they expect earnings to be either $0.63 or $0.64 a share which equates to a 26% to 28% increase.

In addition to the earnings estimate, the company commented on its placements of shufflers, table games and IGT cooperative slot games, as well as on stock repurchase activity.

The company said it anticipates that the year end results will show between 450 to 500 placements of its IGT cooperative slot games, up from 194 at the end of July. Included in the IGT cooperative games are Three Stooges and Let’s Make A Deal.

Since announcing in early September that it would begin a stock repurchase program, the company reported it had acquired 560,000 shares at an average price of $11.45. And, after paying for the repurchases, the company expects to end the fiscal year with over $17 million in cash and investments.

Company president and CEO Mark Yoseloff noted that because of the Oct. 31 fiscal calendar, “over half of our fiscal fourth quarter has taken place in the uncertain economy following the dreadful events of September 11. However, even in this new environment, our internal estimates are generally in line with analysts’ estimates for the fourth quarter and full fiscal year, which were last updated prior to September.”

He said he still felt the “underlying strength of our core business is clearly visible.”