Shuffle Master Shares Jumped: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of casino-game maker Shuffle Master (NAS: SHFL) were hitting the jackpot for investors today, ringing up gains of as much as 20% in intraday trading after the company reported fiscal first-quarter results.

So what: Earnings season is winding down, but there are still some companies that are pleasing and disappointing investors with quarterly numbers. Fortunately for Shuffle Master shareholders, it was the former, as the quarter ending in January showed solid growth on the top and bottom line. Revenue for the quarter was up 28% from the prior year to $56.1 million. Earnings per share, meanwhile, raced ahead 56% to $0.14. Wall Street analysts had been expecting $0.11 in EPS on $51.1 million in revenue.

Now what: The company is obviously continuing to target growth as it also told investors that it just acquired online poker company Ongame Network for roughly $26 million. The company could be on the hook for an additional $13 million if the U.S. legalizes real-money, online poker within the next five years.

Acquisition efforts aside, we can't skip over the fact that the state of the economic recovery will be a component of Shuffle Master's results in the coming quarters. That said, with trailing annual revenue of $240 million, Shuffle Master is still a somewhat smaller player in the industry, which means that it has the potential to grow through market share even if the overall industry doesn't rapidly pick back up.

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