Markets & Finance

Bear Stearns Ups Shuffle Master to Outperform

Bear Stearns upgraded Shuffle Master (SHFL) to outperform from peer perform, after the casino gaming supply company on Monday announced quarterly results.

Shuffle Master, which makes products such as automatic card shufflers and roulette chip sorters, posted 21 cents first quarter earnings per share (EPS) from 18 cents EPS during the same quarter last year. It raised its fiscal year 2006 guidance to between $1.02 and $1.05.

Analyst Joseph Greff says the solid first quarter results increase his confidence in the likelihood that the company will have around 25% EPS growth over the next two years. He views Shuffle Master as a play on Macau table games growth (he sees another 4,000 to 5,000 tables over the next few years.) He says the company is making progress in increasing its penetration of newer products such as Table Master and Easy Chipper. He raises his $1.02 fiscal year 2006 (ending October) EPS estimate to $1.05 and sees $1.28 EPS in 2007. He has a $32 stock price target.

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