No. 2 slot-maker Bally reports earnings of $60.7 million

Bally Slot Machine

The Hot Spin slot machine from Bally Technologies at their headquarters in Las Vegas Monday, May 9, 2011 Launch slideshow »

Boosted by the early success of wide-area progressive games such as Pawn Stars and Cash Wizard, Las Vegas-based Bally Technologies posted record earnings per share for the company’s third quarter that ended March 31.

Bally, the No. 2 slot machine manufacturer, reported earnings of $60.7 million, 93 cents a share, on revenue of $259.1 million for the quarter. That compared with earnings of $50.2 million, 67 cents a share, on revenue of $228.6 million.

Revenue generated by progressive games produced the biggest boost in earnings.

“Our recent premium and wide-area progressive product launches have returned strong initial performances in many different locations and the much-anticipated NASCAR wide-area progressive debuted last week,” Ramesh Srinivasan, the company’s president and CEO, said in a statement issued with the earnings release.

The company produced 4,923 new slot machines during the quarter compared with 4,147 a year ago, but the average price per machine fell to $16,051 from $17,073.

The company also announced today that its board of directors authorized a new $300 million share repurchase program, replacing an existing $150 million program.

Bally also announced it has increased its existing credit facility by $400 million, to a total of $1.1 billion, and extended the maturity to April 2018.

The boardroom move will provide the company with the liquidity in needs for the additional share repurchases as well as potential acquisitions and additional investments.

“After funding the accelerated share buyback, we will have undrawn revolver capacity of approximately $435 million,” said Neil Davidson, Bally’s chief financial officer.