November 9, 2012 / 12:40 AM / in 5 years

IGT earnings top estimates on strong sales of slot machines

LOS ANGELES, Nov 8 (Reuters) - International Game Technology reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings on strong sales of replacement slot machines and sharply higher interactive revenues, sending its shares up 8 percent in after-hours trade.

The slot machine company also provided a fiscal year 2013 forecast for adjusted earnings from continuing operations of $1.20 to $1.30 per share, which topped analysts estimates.

Analysts on average had projected the company next year to post adjusted earnings of $1.14 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of IGT rose 8 percent in after-hours trade to $13.85 a share from a close of $12.83 a share.

0n a conference call with analysts, IGT Chief Executive Patti Hart said the solid quarter and year reflected the strength of its core business as well as the successful leveraging of its $500 million acquisition of Double Down, one of the largest social gaming operations on Facebook.

Double Down games are free, but the platform provides revenues through the sale of virtual gaming chips.

IGT said adjusted fourth-quarter earnings per share from continuing operations rose 58 percent to 38 cents. Adjusted income from continuing operations rose 40 percent to $101.9 million. Fourth-quarter revenues rose 17 percent to $631 million.

Analysts on average had forecast the company to post adjusted earnings of 32 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

During the quarter, IGT said its revenues from social gaming was $35.8 million, up 20 percent sequentially from the third quarter, primarily driven by an increase in both daily active users and bookings per daily active user.

IGT has also been embedding the DoubleDown Casino application on the websites of casino operators that use its slot machines.

During the fourth quarter, IGT said daily active users of its social gaming products totaled 1.4 million while the number of monthly users totaled 5.1 million.

The average user spent 28 cents per day on the DoubleDown site, which was 8 percent higher than the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, IGT sold 8,500 replacement slot machines, an increase of 67 percent.

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