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SCIENTIFIC GAMES POSTS A Q3-2014 NET LOSS
2014-10-31

Struggling with a falling share price due to bank delays on the $5,1 billion in funds necessary for its acquisition of Bally Technologies (see previous InfoPowa report), Scientific Games further disappointed shareholders in reporting a net loss in Q3-2014 this week.

Although revenues increased higher than forecasted, the company reported a wider net loss as acquisition and other related costs rose.

Interactive gaming performance improved, with a hefty contribution from social gaming.

Third quarter revenue increased to $415.6 million from $234.4 million in the prior-year quarter, primarily reflecting the contribution of WMS operations and a 9 percent increase in total lottery revenue. That topped forcasts for $413 million.

EBITDA increased $38.3 million from the prior-year quarter to $128.2 million.

The company incurred a net loss of $69.8 million, or $0.82 per share, which included a $0.23 per share, non-cash impairment charge to write down the company's equity investment in its Northstar Illinois joint venture; $0.07 per share, of transaction- and financing-related costs associated with the pending acquisition of Bally Technologies $0.02 per share, of employee termination and restructuring expense.

In the prior-year period, the company reported a net loss from continuing operations of $0.4 million, or $0.01 per share, inclusive of $2.5 million, or $0.03 per share, of WMS-related transaction costs.

"During the quarter, the company generated $126 million of cash flow from operations, which after $62 million of capital expenditures resulted in $65 million of free cash flow," said Gavin Isaacs, president and CEO.

Scientific Games also posted its results for the nine months year-to-date, revealing that revenue increased $531.6 million from the prior-year period to $1,220.6 million, primarily reflecting the contribution from WMS' operations.

EBITDA over the nine months ended September 30 increased to $383.1 million from $252.0 million.

The net loss increased to $187.2 million from $26.7 million, primarily reflecting an operating loss of $16.3 million, which includes $13.0 million of transaction-related costs and legal contingencies, and $12.4 million of employee termination and restructuring expense, compared to operating income of $49.2 million in the prior-year period.

In addition, the net loss for the first nine months of 2014 was also impacted by a $25.9 million loss on early extinguishment of debt, the $19.7 million non-cash impairment charge referenced above and $8.0 million related to the company's share of an estimated net shortfall accrual recorded by its Northstar Illinois joint venture, and $67.6 million of higher interest expense, partially offset by a $14.5 million gain on the sale of the equity investment in Sportech plc. In the prior-year nine month period, the company had $9.5 million of transaction- and financing-related expenses and $0.3 million of employee termination and restructuring expense.

"In addition to the progress being made with the WMS integration, we are focused on the potential to meaningfully increase free cash flow following the Bally acquisition, which we continue to anticipate closing this quarter, and deploying our free cash flow to reduce net debt," Isaacs said.

"Our plans are now expected to yield greater expected financial savings than originally anticipated. As a result, we are increasing our estimate of annual cost synergies anticipated to be realized from the pending Bally transaction by the end of 2016 from $220 million to $235 million.

"In addition, we now expect to realize an additional $15 million in annual cost synergies from the WMS acquisition, bringing the total to $115 million in annual cost savings by the end of 2015, of which slightly more than half has been achieved to date.

"We remain confident the combination of Scientific Games and Bally will deliver significant strategic and financial benefits."

Interactive activities.

In the Q3-2014 report, Scientific Games reported that its interactive activities generated $38.5 million - mainly from WMS and $5.7 million of it from social gaming products.

The growth in interactive gaming revenue from social gaming activities also reflected a 78 percent growth in the average Daily Average User to approximately 1.6 million compared to the approximately 900,000 average DAU in the prior-year period for WMS, partially offset by a 26 percent decline in Average Revenue Per Daily Active User to $0.23 reflecting the impact of a significantly larger player audience and growth in players on mobile platforms

During the quarter the company inked a deal to provide its interactive Play4Fun Network to Bay Mills Resort and Casino; the company additionally entered into six new game content agreements with online operators.




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