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GTECH's 1Q earnings up 31 percent

Jun 23, 2004, 7:11 am

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Gtech Holdings Corp., the world's largest operator of lotteries, Tuesday posted a 31 percent jump in profit for its latest quarter, helped by continued strong sales.

The West Greenwich-based company also boosted its full-year earnings expectations because of a reduction in its tax rate.

The company reported net income of $53.6 million, or 80 cents a share, for the first quarter ended May 29, up from $41 million, or 68 cents, a year earlier.

The latest quarter included a one-time gain of $6.4 million, or 9 cents a share, from the sale of the company's 50 percent interest in Gaming Entertainment (Delaware) LLC.

Revenue for the latest period rose 17 percent to $280.2 million from $239.6 million.

Wall Street was expecting the company to post a first-quarter profit of 73 cents a share on revenue of $285 million, according to Thomson First Call.

Shares of Gtech fell 78 cents, or 1.6 percent, to close Tuesday at $49.25 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Also Tuesday, Gtech said it would split its stock 2-for-1 on July 30 to shareholders of record as of July 1.

During the quarter, the company completed the $150 million purchase of Spielo Manufacturing Inc. and the $40 million acquisition of Leeward Islands Lottery Holding Co. Inc.

For the fiscal year ending Feb. 26, Gtech now expects earnings between $3.05 and $3.15 per share on a pre-split basis, due to a reduction in its effective tax rate to 36 percent from 37 percent. Previously, the company forecast a profit of $3 to $3.10 a share.

Analysts surveyed by First Call had anticipated, on average, earnings of $3.07 a share for the year. For the fiscal year ended Feb. 28, the company earned $2.84 a share, including a gain of 5 cents a share.

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