Worldwide demand for Shuffle Master products boosts quarterly profit

Gaming supplier Shuffle Master Inc. reported a higher quarterly profit Monday as casinos worldwide bought and leased more of its card shufflers and slot machines.

For its third fiscal quarter ended July 31, Las Vegas-based Shuffle Master earned $10.4 million or 18 cents per share, up from $9.1 million or 17 cents in the year-ago quarter. Revenue increased 9 percent to $63.4 million.

Shuffle Master said its installed base of leased shufflers grew 7 percent to 8,245, while shuffler sales and lease revenue grew 8 percent to $24.4 million. Table game revenue increased 18 percent to $13 million while electronic gaming machine revenue grew 11 percent to about $20 million.

The company said 55 percent of its revenue came from outside the United States and that overall, it's hopeful for continued revenue growth with new products like its Flintstones slot machines.

With no net debt and an untapped $186 million credit line, the company continues to look for growth opportunities including potential acquisitions, executives said during a conference call to discuss the results.

Shuffle Master this summer received a Nevada license to provide an online real-money poker system for its casino clients, and it recently received a similar online license in Gibraltar, where it has opened a small office. It continues to develop online real-money and social gaming products for this segment, with the Gibraltar license positioning Shuffle Master to compete in the European online gambling market.

"These licenses reinforce our commitment to the online space and to being a B2B (business-to-business) partner with our land-based customers," CEO Gavin Isaacs said. "Development of our own state-of-the-art online content platform continues, whereby we'll offer our renowned brands both for real-money gambling and free to play.''

Those brands include its proprietary table games such as Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold'em and Fortune Pai Gow Poker.

Shuffle Master is continuing its online initiative even after this summer canceling a $26 million deal to buy Gibraltar-based Internet poker company Ongame Network Ltd.