(PRESS RELEASE) -- The AGEM Index reported a month-to-month increase in April 2015 after falling 2.43 points in March 2015. The composite index closed at 200.68 in April, which represented a gain of 10.39 points (+5.5 percent) from the prior month. Compared to a year ago, the AGEM Index was up 19.19 points (+10.6 percent). In April 2015, GTECH was removed from the index after completing its merger with International Game Technology (IGT). In addition, Konami Corp was voluntarily delisted from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE); the company's activity on the Tokyo Exchange (TYO) is now included in the AGEM Index.
During the month, four of the 13 global gaming equipment manufacturers reported monthly gains in stock price, with two up by more than 15 percent and another reporting a gain of 8.7 percent. These gains were partially offset by declines reported by nine manufacturers. However, only three reported declines of more than 5 percent.
The AGEM Index bucked broader stock markets trends that reported little change during the month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.4 percent, closing the month at 17,840.52. Meanwhile, NASDAQ reported a modest gain of 0.8 percent, rising to 4,941.42, while the S&P 500 increased 0.9 percent to 2,085.51.
Selected positive contributors to the April 2015 AGEM Index included the following:
—International Game Technology (IGT) contributed 8.74 points due to a 16.9-percent gain in stock price to $20.35.
—Scientific Games Corporation (SGMS), reported a stock price of $12.67 (+21.0 percent) and contributed 2.34 points.
—With a stock price of AU$8.32, Aristocrat Technologies (ALL) contributed 0.50 points to the index.
Selected negative contributors included the following:
—Crane Co. (CR) reported a stock price of $61.11 (-2.1 percent) and contributed negative 0.75 points.
—Konami Corp (TYO: 9766) contributed negative 0.49 points due to a 1.8-percent decline in stock price to ¥2,209.
AGEM Exchange: Symbol Stock Price At Month End Percent Change Index
(Currency) Apr-15 Mar-15 Apr-14 Prior Period Prior Year Contribution
Ainsworth Game Technology ASX: AGI (AU$) 2.80 2.89 4.15 (3.11) (32.53) (0.05)
Aristocrat Technologies ASX: ALL (AU$) 8.32 8.43 5.03 (1.30) 65.41 0.50
Astro Corp. Taiwan: 3064 (NT$) 26.95 28.40 39.95 (5.11) (32.54) (0.03)
Crane Co. NYSE: CR (US$) 61.11 62.41 72.73 (2.08) (15.98) (0.75)
Daktronics, Inc. Nasdaq: DAKT (US$) 10.73 10.81 13.02 (0.74) (17.59) (0.04)
Galaxy Gaming Inc. OTCMKTS: GLXZ (US$) 0.28 0.30 0.47 (6.67) (40.43) 0.00
Gaming Partners International Nasdaq: GPIC (US$) 11.08 10.76 8.33 2.97 33.01 0.03
Global Cash Access NYSE: GCA (US$) 7.40 7.62 6.60 (2.89) 12.12 (0.14)
International Game Technology NYSE: IGT (US$) 20.35 17.41 12.55 16.89 62.15 8.74
INTRALOT S.A. ATHEX: INLOT (EUR) 1.63 1.50 2.09 8.67 (22.01) 0.35
Konami Corp TYO: 9766 (¥) 2,209.00 2,250.00 2,330.00 (1.82) (5.19) (0.49)
Scientific Games Corporation Nasdaq: SGMS (US$) 12.67 10.47 11.98 21.01 5.76 2.34
Transact Technologies Nasdaq: TACT (US$) 5.12 5.91 10.69 (13.37) (52.10) (0.05)
Change in Index Value 10.39
AGEM Index Value: March 2015 190.28
AGEM Index Value: April 2015 200.68
Social and mobile gaming continues to be a quickly growing market, providing global gaming suppliers an opportunity to expand beyond traditional product offerings. According to research firm Superdata, the digital games market generated $49 billion in revenue globally in 2014. Social casino revenue accounted for roughly $3.0 billion (6.1 percent) of total digital games revenue, which represents a gain of 36.4 percent from the $2.2 billion estimated in 2013. In addition, Superdata expects social casino revenue to grow another 13.3 percent in 2015 to $3.4 billion.
Growth in the social casino market has been driven primarily by the mobile sector, which continues to outperform spending on desktop games. According to data released by the Social Casino Summit, an estimated 74 percent of social casino players used a mobile device in 2014, with just 26 percent playing on a desktop.
As the social casino market continues to grow, more gaming equipment manufacturers are working to expand their product offerings and get a cut of the revenue. In April 2015, Ainsworth Game Technology (AGI) launched Players Paradise Social Casino, which is the company's first social casino. Players Paradise debuted with 10 slot titles and was made available on Facebook, Android®, Amazon mobile and tablet devices, and Apple iOS®.
Aristocrat Technologies (ALL) is also cashing in on the social casino market, and its social and mobile gaming company, Product Madness, was recently named the "Social Slots Operator of the Year" at the eGaming Review North America Awards. The company's Heart of Vegas™ app has become one of the most popular in the world since premiering in July 2013, reaching the top 15 in overall top-grossing apps and the top 5 in top-grossing casino apps in the United States. The app offers free-to-play versions of Aristocrat's most popular slot games and is currently available on Facebook and iOS®, with an Android® version planned for future launch.
International Game Technology's (IGT) DoubleDown Casino has been expanding its social casino game options, and in the past few months, launched Wheel of Fortune® Extra Spin and Jeopardy
!™. Wheel of Fortune® has become DoubleDown Casino's most popular product with more titles currently in development.
Gaming companies have been entering the social casino market through partnerships and acquisitions. For example, Tropicana Entertainment recently agreed to a partnership with social games developer Ruby Seven Studios to launch a social gaming website. Also noteworthy is an agreement with Scientific Games Corporation (SGMS) in which Penn National (PENN) will launch the Scientific Games SG Universe product suite at four of its properties. In addition to the Play4Fun social casino platform, SG Universe includes Mobile Concierge and VenueBet.