Sunday, November 11, 2007

Wheel of Fortune - IGT Spells Weak Sales

Well, I can't say I was surprised. IGT is experiencing a dip in sales.

This recent article from the Las Vegas Review Journal entitled "IGT's earnings up, sales down Decrease in slot sales drags down revenue" tells the tale.

My favorite part is that the analysts were shocked, that IGT sold only about half the amount of machines this quarter than they did last year.

Apparently, the analysts don't play slot machines. Note that the analysts were also bully on Suprime Mortgage companies right up to the recent crash.

Perhaps the analysts should spend less time courting the favor of the companies they are supposed to be honestly analyzing, and more time in casinos, wagering their own funds, and testing out the merchandise. Oh, and it wouldn't hurt them to read my blog, either.

I avoid IGT slots like the plague. Instead of becoming more interesting, their parade of new slot machines have been dumming down.

While WMS strides boldly forward with ever more complex games of stunning themes, and innovative technology, IGT has been churning out games that I can barely distinguish from the simplistic looking Aristocrat line.

Simply put WMS rules, and IGT sucks . . . and it is beginning to show in the bottom line.

Also note in the article that a significant source of revenue for IGT was insurance settlement money from the Katrina damage. That is just so sad, when you cite profit from a major disaster.

I'm not sure why IGT has chosen to take the low road. It's weird, but I suppose it has to do something with outsourcing of game design to other companies, and a perhaps a perceived loss of market share to Arisocrat.

Of course, not all IGT products are dogs, but I'm certain IGT would have to admit their high hopes for the "Star Wars" line, and the huge UFO looking Wheel of Fortune machines didn't exactly pan out.

The Wheel of Fortune franchise of slot machines does continue to grow, as IGT milks what they obviously believe to be a cash cow. And there is always video poker, and the new "Server Based" technology creeping onto the casino floor.

Still, it looks like IGT is hoping that "a rising tide raises all ships" and that the influx of new casinos opening around the world will add sales to their weak stream.

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