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WMS > SEC Filings for WMS > Form 10-Q on 9-Nov-2012All Recent SEC Filings

Show all filings for WMS INDUSTRIES INC /DE/



Quarterly Report


The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on August 21, 2012 ("Form 10-K"). This discussion and analysis also contains forward-looking statements and should also be read in conjunction with the disclosures and information contained in "Cautionary Note" and Item 1A. "Risk Factors" in our Form 10-K and our more recent reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The following discussion and analysis is intended to enhance the reader's understanding of our business environment, financial condition and results of operations.

As used in this Report, the terms "we", "us", "our", and "WMS" mean WMS Industries Inc., a Delaware corporation, and its subsidiaries. All references to years, unless otherwise noted, refer to our fiscal year, which ends on June 30. All references to quarters, unless otherwise noted, refer to the quarters of our fiscal year.

Product names mentioned in this Report are trademarks of WMS Gaming Inc., except for the following marks: Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc.; G2S and S2S are trademarks of the Gaming Standards Association.


Our mission is: through imagination, talent and technology, we create and provide the world's most compelling gaming experiences. We serve the legalized gaming industry by designing, manufacturing and distributing games, video and mechanical reel-spinning gaming machines and video lottery terminals ("VLTs") to authorized customers in legal gaming venues worldwide. Our interactive gaming ("iGaming") products and services include development and marketing of digital content, products, services and end-to-end solutions that address global online wagering and play-for-fun social, casual and mobile gaming opportunities. We are also addressing the next stage of casino gaming floor evolution with our WAGE-NET® networked gaming solution, a suite of systems technologies and applications designed to increase customers' revenue generating capabilities and operational efficiencies. Our gaming machine products are installed in all of the major regulated gaming jurisdictions in the United States, as well as in approximately 143 international gaming jurisdictions.

We generate revenue in two principal ways: product sales and gaming operations, as further described below. In fiscal 2010, we expanded the markets where we directly distribute our products by launching directly into Class II gaming markets in the United States and entering the Mexican and New South Wales, Australia markets and we continued to further penetrate these markets in fiscal 2011 and 2012, although demand in fiscal 2012 abated in Mexico and Australia due to unique circumstances in each market. We had previously served these markets through content licensing agreements with third parties for our game themes. In the December 2010 quarter, we launched an online casino site for residents in the United Kingdom, although we did not begin to market the site until February 2011. In the June 2011 quarter, we received the first regulatory approval for our WAGE-NET networked gaming system, the first family of portal applications, the Ultra Hit Progressive® ("UHP") family, and the first game in the UHP family, Jackpot Explosion®, and since then we have received additional approvals for these products and other networked gaming products in other gaming jurisdictions. In fiscal 2012, we expanded our interactive gaming products and services with the launch of our first social game on Facebook and the sale of select WMS games for mobile devices and PC's and in July 2012, we grouped together all of our worldwide online wagering, social, casual and mobile gaming products and services in order to focus on their revenue growth, development and market efficiencies and to optimize the benefits of interactive gaming products and services for casino operators and their players. Also, in July 2012 we launched a second social game on Facebook titled Jackpot Party®Social Casino. We expect to facilitate the continued expansion, investment, evolution and extension of our interactive products and services and increase our focus on this rapidly evolving growth area. In fiscal 2013, we expect to further penetrate each of the new markets and distribution channels we have entered over the last few years and look to further expand our distribution channels.

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The recession and financial market crisis that began in 2008 has continued to disrupt the economy worldwide, reduced consumer discretionary spending and has led to a weakened global economic environment, all of which have been significant challenges for our industry. In calendar 2008 and 2009, some gaming operators delayed or canceled construction projects, resulting in fewer new casino openings and expansions in fiscal 2010 and 2011, coupled with many customers reducing their annual capital budgets for replacing gaming machines. New unit demand for new casino openings and casino expansion increased in fiscal 2012; however, we expect demand for new casino openings and expansions to decrease in fiscal 2013. The economic crisis reduced disposable income for casino patrons and resulted in fewer patrons visiting casinos and lower spending by those patrons who did visit casinos. The economic crisis, the operational challenges that lead to the review of our product plans and business strategies at the end of fiscal 2011 and beginning of fiscal 2012 and increased competition from our competitors lowered the number of new units we shipped over the last three fiscal years, resulting in lower revenues in fiscal 2012 than in fiscal 2011 and 2010.

In late fiscal 2011 and early fiscal 2012, with no leading indicators showing any significant increase in replacement demand, we conducted a thorough review of our business strategies and product plans. As a result of the strategic review, we announced that we would refine our product plans and restructure our organization to sharpen emphasis on our game content and product development strengths. Specifically, we have streamlined our product management and product development functions, simplified product plans and further prioritized on-time commercialization of new game themes, products and portal gaming applications. As part of our restructuring, we implemented a 10% reduction in our workforce.

As part of the plan, in the three months ended September 30, 2011, we recorded $14.0 million of pre-tax impairment and restructuring charges, or $0.17 per diluted share, which includes $9.7 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, of pre-tax impairment and restructuring charges including $5.9 million of separation-related charges and $3.8 million of costs related to the decision to close two facilities, and $4.3 million pre-tax, or $0.05 per diluted share, of non-cash charges to write-down receivables following government enforcement actions at certain casinos in Mexico. In the June 2012 quarter, this write-down of receivables was reduced by $0.7 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, due to improvements in the situation. This situation has been very dynamic and while government actions continue to diminish, we continue to closely monitor the situation.

We had expected that with our launch of the network gaming-enabled Bluebird®2 gaming machines in the December 2008 quarter, concurrent with certain of our competitors launching their networked gaming-enabled products, the industry would experience an improvement in the replacement cycle, which has been at an abnormally low level for the past few years. However, as discussed above, the economy slowed just as the new gaming machines were being launched, so we did not see the expected improvement in the replacement cycle. Even with the adverse economic environment and its impact on our industry causing customers to constrain their capital budgets, we launched our Bluebird2 gaming machines in the December 2008 quarter with premium features at a significantly higher price, and demand outpaced our expectations. In late June 2010, we launched another new networked-enabled gaming machine, Bluebird xD™, as the replacement for our original Bluebird slant cabinets and it too had a significantly higher price, and once again demand outpaced our expectations. In the March 2012 quarter, we launched our new Bluebird2e gaming machine as an upgrade to our Bluebird2 gaming machines. The Bluebird2e gaming machines contain the emotive lighting feature that we launched with the Bluebird xD cabinet. We expect to launch our new upright cabinet, Blade™, for product sales and new participation cabinet, Gamefield xD™, in the March 2013 quarter and both will utilize our next-generation CPU-NXT®3 operating system platform. We believe that as the economy improves and gaming operators see meaningful improvements in their profitability and cash flows, they will increase their annual capital budgets for replacement units, which will improve the replacement demand in future years, although we cannot predict when this will occur or the rate of increase in their capital budgets.

We believe several recent developments fueled by the challenging economic situation could expand our revenue opportunities over the long term. In the United States, legislators have passed or are considering enabling new or expanded gaming legislation in Ohio, Illinois, Kansas, Iowa, Maryland, California, New Hampshire, New York, Florida, Maine and Massachusetts. Internationally, Singapore opened as a new market in fiscal 2010. In addition, legislation has been passed or discussed in Greece, Brazil, Japan and Taiwan that could open new market opportunities. In the United States, the States of Nevada and Delaware have adopted legislation to legalize certain forms of online gaming and federal legislators and certain other state legislators and governments in Canada and Europe have legalized or are considering legalizing certain forms of online gaming, which if passed could expand our revenue opportunities. The breadth and timing of these opportunities remain uncertain due to the political process in each of these jurisdictions, as well as the difficult credit environment facing our customers and the risk of continued economic uncertainty.

We review certain financial measures in assessing our financial condition and operating performance not only in connection with creating our forecasts and in making comparisons to financial results from prior periods, but also in making comparisons to our competitors' financial results and our internal plans. We focus on fluctuations in revenue, number of new units sold, average selling price, average participation installed base and average revenue per day, cost on both products sales and gaming operations and also pay close attention to our operating income, operating margin, net income, diluted earnings per share, total cash, total accounts and notes receivable, inventories and accounts payable and cash flows provided by or used in operating activities, investing activities and financing activities, as they are key indicators of our performance. We also measure changes in selling and administrative expenses as a percent of revenue, which indicate management's ability to control costs, as well as research and development costs as a percent of revenue, which demonstrate investment in technology and product development. Finally, we measure depreciation and amortization expense as a percentage of revenues as an indicator of the current cost of capital expenditures, primarily in gaming operations.

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The measures listed above are not a comprehensive list of all factors considered by us in assessing our financial condition and operating performance, and we may consider other individual measures as required by trends and discrete events arising in a specific period, but they are the key indicators and these measures are discussed herein.

The priorities for the utilization of our cash flow are to: continue to enhance stockholder value by emphasizing internal and external investments to create and license advanced technologies and intellectual property; seek acquisitions or licensing deals that can extend our presence and product lines, increase our distribution channels, enhance our intellectual property portfolio and expand our earnings potential; and, when appropriate, repurchase shares in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. For the three months ended September 30, 2012, our research and development spending increased $3.2 million compared to the prior year and we spent $20.3 million on property, plant and equipment and $25.6 million on additions to gaming operations equipment, and we funded approximately $5.0 million of common stock repurchases. We also borrowed on our credit facility and had $85.0 million long-term debt outstanding at September 30, 2012.

Product Sales

Product sales revenue includes the sale to casinos and other gaming machine operators of new and used gaming machines and VLTs, parts and conversion kits (including game theme, hardware or operating system conversions). In September 2010, we closed our Orion Financement Company ("Orion Gaming") manufacturing facility and, in June 2011, we sold this facility and began winding down the manufacturing of our Orion Gaming product lines, which occurred over fiscal 2012. We will continue to provide support for spare parts related to Orion Gaming product lines for several years. In July 2011, we sold our Systems In Progress GmbH subsidiary ("SiP"). These two subsidiaries were immaterial to our Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements. In fiscal 2011, we also notified our customers that we were winding down the support for our Bluebird gaming machines with no new game content available after July 1, 2012, but we would continue to service and supply replacement parts through July 2015. We derive product sales revenue from the sale of the following:

Ø Multi-line, multi-coin video gaming machines, in our Bluebird, Bluebird2, Bluebird2e and Bluebird xD branded gaming machines;

Ø Mechanical reel-spinning gaming machines in our Bluebird, Bluebird2, Bluebird2e and Bluebird xD branded gaming machines;

Ø Replacement parts and game theme conversion kits for our Bluebird, Bluebird2, Bluebird2e, Bluebird xD, Twinstar™, Twinstar2, Helios™ and CPU-NXT and CPU-NXT2 operating system upgrade kits; and

Ø Used gaming machines manufactured by us or our competitors that are acquired on a trade-in basis or that we previously leased to casinos as participation gaming machines.

In early October 2012 at our industry's largest trade show, we demonstrated our new Blade cabinet that we expect to begin shipping in the March 2013 quarter. Customers may delay purchases of our existing cabinets until the Blade cabinet is approved in their jurisdiction and we may also experience lower average selling prices of our existing cabinets due to higher discounts off of the list price.

Gaming Operations

We earn revenues from leasing gaming machines and VLTs to casinos and other licensed gaming machine operators under operating leases; operating an online gaming site, offering social games on Facebook, offering our games on third-party online gaming platforms that are interoperable with our game servers; selling select WMS games that have been ported to operate on mobile devices and PC's; we earn revenues from placing our networked gaming system and applications, which is a system that links groups of networked-enabled gaming machines to a server in the casino data center; and earn royalties that we receive from third parties under license agreements to use our game content and intellectual property.

Our gaming operations include the following product lines:

Ø Participation games, which are gaming machines owned by us that we lease based upon any of the following payment methods: (1) a percentage of the net win, which is the casino's earnings generated by casino patrons playing the gaming machine; (2) fixed daily fees; or (3) a percentage of the amount wagered ("coin-in") or a combination of a fixed daily fee plus a percentage of the amount wagered. We have the ability to lease these gaming machines on a participation basis because of the superior performance of the game and/or the popularity of the brand, which generates higher wagering and net win to the casinos or gaming machine operators than the gaming machines we sell outright. Participation games include:

Ø Wide-area progressive ("WAP") participation games;

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Ø Local-area progressive ("LAP") participation games; and

Ø Stand-alone participation games.

Ø Casino-owned daily fee games, where the casino or gaming machine operator purchases the base gaming machine and pays a lower daily lease fee for the top-box and game;

Ø Gaming machines placed at casinos under operating lease arrangements;


Ø Revenues from licensing our game content and intellectual properties to third parties;

Ø Revenues from our online gaming casino in the United Kingdom, which was launched in November 2010, and beginning in fiscal 2012 revenues from our Lucky Cruise™ social game on Facebook and in July 2012, our Jackpot Party Social Casino on Facebook, revenues from the sale of select WMS games that have been ported to operate on mobile devices, revenues from the retail sales of CD's containing WMS games or direct downloads of WMS games from internet distributors and revenues when an online player uses a WMS or Jadestone game on one of our customers' online gaming sites; and

Ø Beginning in June 2011, networked gaming revenues where the casinos or other gaming machine operators use our WAGE-NET networked gaming system to link groups of gaming machines to remote servers in their locations that allows casinos and other gaming machine operators to purchase new applications and system-wide features for distribution over the WAGE-NET system.

Networked Gaming

We believe that server-enabled networked gaming ("NG") will be a significant technology deployed in the gaming machine industry. NG refers to a networked gaming system that links groups of server-enabled gaming machines to a remote server or servers in each casino's data center. Once the gaming machines are connected to the server-enabled network, data can transfer between the servers and the gaming machines in real time and new applications, game functionality and system-wide features can be enabled on the gaming machines from the remote server. These networks require regulatory approval in gaming jurisdictions prior to any implementation. We have been introducing the foundational technologies and hardware for NG to the market through our new participation product lines since the September 2006 quarter. In the June 2011 quarter, we received the first regulatory approval for our WAGE-NET networked gaming system, the first family of portal applications, the UHP family, and the first game in the UHP family, the Jackpot Explosion theme, and since then we have received additional approvals for these products and other networked gaming products in other gaming jurisdictions. Once the NG system is in place in a casino, we also are able to offer our customers a subscription pricing plan to have access to a library of our game content. At September 30, 2012, we had approximately 2,000 networked gaming machines functioning, primarily on a non-trial basis, at approximately 100 casino properties globally.

In June 2011, we began earning revenues from networked gaming applications after installing the commercialized version of the NG software. Our vision for networked gaming expands on the basic functionality of downloadable games, remote configuration of betting denominations and central determination of game outcomes, and emphasizes enhanced game play and excitement for the player. Since these first approvals, we have subsequently received approvals on the second theme in the Ultra Hit Progressive family, Piggy Bankin'®, the first theme in the second portal family, Winner's Share®, titled Peng-Wins ® and the first theme in the third portal family, Mega Multiplier ®, titled Super Shot™. Nevada regulators approved the commercialized version of our Jackpot Explosion portal application; and our field trial - the final step to achieve approval in Nevada on the remote configuration and download portion of our WAGE-NET system was completed in August 2011. Accordingly, we received approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission related to the interoperability of our NG system with one of the slot accounting systems used by casinos and we have subsequently received approval for other slot accounting systems in Nevada and no additional interoperability approvals are required. Additionally, we also have developed and are implementing bank-wide NG solutions for certain customers.

In a networked environment, we believe game play will no longer be limited to an individual gaming machine; rather, we believe NG will permit game play to be communal among many players. We also expect that with networked gaming machines we will be able to offer system-wide features and game functionality along with applications that add value to casino operators' operations. We will continue NG development, working with our competitors and customers to ensure the future is powered by an open architecture approach where games, networks, servers and software from multiple suppliers are compatible with each other through the use of industry standard communication protocols.

Our path to the NG marketplace takes elements of our technology road map and converts them into commercializable products in advance of the launch of the full functionality of NG systems. Beginning in fiscal 2007, we introduced a series of products and
functionalities, all building towards NG systems, including our Community Gaming® participation product line, our CPU-NXT2

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operating system and platform, which is also the basis for our server-enabled Bluebird2, Bluebird xD and Bluebird2e gaming machines, Sensory Immersion gaming, Transmissive Reels® technology gaming, Adaptive Gaming® technology, and progress on interoperability of our WAGE-NET system and Bluebird2 and Bluebird2e gaming machines using the CPU-NXT2 operating system with other manufacturers' products and systems using industry standard communication protocols developed by the Gaming Standards Association ("GSA"): G2S® and S2S®.


We continue to operate in a challenging economic environment and the combination of economic uncertainty, lower demand for replacement products and reduced opportunities from new or expanded casinos has negatively impacted our industry. We expect to benefit from certain new and expansion projects currently in process in calendar 2012, but the breadth and timing of such opportunities remains uncertain due to the difficult credit environment facing our customers and the risk of continued economic uncertainty.

As we navigate these macroeconomic challenges, we focused on four key strategic priorities: 1) Continue to grow our installed participation product base and improve our daily average revenue; 2) Garner increased ship share in our global product sales by leveraging our product development expertise and developing differentiated, high-earning games, game content and products for our customers worldwide; 3) Drive margin improvements; and 4) Invest in the establishment, development and operation of our interactive gaming products and services:

1. Strategic Priority: Continue to grow our installed participation product base and improve our daily average revenue:

Quarter Ended September 30, 2012, Result: During the quarter ended September 30, 2012, our average installed base of participation gaming machines decreased 1.0% over the quarter ended September 30, 2011 and, at September 30, 2012, our total installed participation footprint stood at 9,632 units compared to 9,592 units at September 30, 2011. Our average revenue per day declined 9.0% in the September 2012 quarter from the September 2011 quarter to $65.23. Our focus in fiscal 2013 is to increase the percentage of the installed base that are coin-in gaming machines as they generate the highest profit of our three lease models and to convert a portion of our installed base from Bluebird gaming machines to Bluebird2, Bluebird xD and our new Gamefield xD gaming machines. The percentage of coin-in gaming machines in our installed base was 37.7% of the installed base at September 30, 2012, consistent with the percentage of the installed base at September 30, 2011. We have successfully converted approximately 70% of the participation installed base to Bluebird2 and Bluebird xD gaming machines, although this required a higher capital investment over the last two years. We invested $25.6 million in gaming operations capital in the three months ended September 30, 2012 and $22.1 million in three months ended September 30, 2011. We expect that the amount of capital invested in gaming operations will decline modestly for the next two years as a lower amount of capital spent on our participation gaming machines will be partially offset by increased capital spent on gaming machines for operating leases as we expect a portion of the new VLT market in Illinois will be conducted through operating leases. In fiscal 2011 and the first half of fiscal 2012, we experienced delays in launching new products due to the new technologies we were imbedding in our participation products and as a result of not having as many new participation game themes approved, some of our older game theme performance lagged resulting in a higher level of removals of participation gaming machines, which caused a reduction in the installed base. We expect that with an anticipated increase in participation game themes that our installed base will grow in fiscal 2013 and 2014.

2. Strategic Priority: Garner increased ship share in our global product sales by leveraging our product development expertise and developing differentiated, high-earning games, game content and products for our customers worldwide.

Quarter Ended September 30, 2012, Result: The replacement cycle for gaming machines has been abnormally low for several years and the challenges facing our industry and the overall global economy have continued, all of which have reduced overall industry demand for gaming machines from previous levels. We believe capital budgets for replacing gaming machines were relatively flat for calendar 2010 and 2011 and increased modestly in 2012. We believe demand from new casino openings and casino expansions declined from fiscal 2010 to fiscal 2011 but grew in fiscal 2012. We expect new unit demand from new casino openings and expansions to be lower in fiscal 2013 than in fiscal 2012 but that replacement demand will increase due to the Canadian provincial lotteries beginning to replace their existing VLTs and the opening of the new VLT market in Illinois. The average selling price on a VLT is lower than a Class III gaming machine.

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In this challenging environment, our September 2012 new unit shipments on which we recognized revenue were down 3.2% from the prior-year period. International new unit shipments accounted for 35.3% of global shipments in the September 2012 quarter, about flat with the September 2011 quarter. Overall, international new unit shipments increased in fiscal 2011 but shrank in fiscal 2012, as in fiscal 2011 the growth in Mexico and New South Wales, Australia and Singapore coupled with modest growth in Asia and Latin America, more than offset lower shipments to Europe, which remains impacted by the challenging economic environment. In fiscal 2012, demand from Mexico and New South Wales, Australia abated due to . . .

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