Shuffle Master hits Forbes list, again

Nov 2, 2004 3:32 AM


Shuffle Master, which manufactures a variety of table games and card shufflers for the gaming industry, has been selected by Forbes Magazine for the sixth consecutive year as one of the U.S.’s 200 best small companies.

In order to qualify for this year’s list, companies had to show a consistent pattern of growth during both a one-year and five-year period.

Beyond that, companies are required to have sales in the $5 million to $750 million range, net profit margins greater than five percent and share prices above $5. The list of all the ranked companies appears in the current Forbes edition.

Paul Meyer said his company, which employs about 110 people and operates out of offices at Palms Airport Drive, said the magazine uses a set of metrics to objectively measure companies against each other. "It’s not a beauty contest," he said. "There’s very little subjectivity."

"This company is a growth company," Meyer said. "We’re growing at a rate of 30 percent a year." He added that the company’s stock price is at a record high of $41.50 per share.

Mark Yoseloff, chairman of the board and Shuffle Master’s chief executive officer, said the company’s placement in the top 10 small businesses for the second consecutive year "is testament to the strength of our business strategy," according to a company statement.

That strategy has been a balancing act between producing innovative new games such as 3-Card Poker and 4-Card Poker and developing high-tech shuffling devices for casinos.

At the recently concluded Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, Shuffle Master introduced several new products, including the Easy Chipper, which is designed to sort different casino chips quickly and efficiently.

The company has also developed the MD-2, a two- to eight-deck batch shuffler that features an optional card recognition system enabling it to check decks of cards by simultaneously reading and verifying every card being shuffled. The shuffler incorporates a patented platform and griper system that is supposed to minimize card wear and tear.

The company is also touting its Intelligent Shoe, an alternative to a traditional dealing shoe that reads the rank and suit of each card being dealt. The Intelligent Shoe, which holds up to eight decks of shuffled cards, was developed to increase baccarat and blackjack game security.

Meyer said all three products should be in Las Vegas casinos by the end of the first quarter of 2005. Based in Las Vegas, Shuffle Master also has offices in Australia, Austria, New Zealand and Macau.