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    MARKET EDGES

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My sources indicate that IGT may have begun an aggressive cost cutting program by targeting approximately 500 employees (10% of the workforce) for dismissal. The cuts appear to be concentrated in the manufacturing and service areas but probably will impact all divisions. This aggressive move by IGT could generate $40-50m ($0.08-$0.10) in annual cost savings. My sense is that layoffs are only the first bite out of a pretty comprehensive cost reduction apple. IGT management was deliberately vague on their conference call but I suspect there will be details forthcoming. We may have a margin story forming here people.

I’ve followed IGT for 12 years and I’ve known them to be many things including resourceful, creative, shareholder friendly, etc. But I’ve never known them as “cost focused”. Okay I’m being nice. IGT is chunky, obese, rotund, wears long loose clothing, etc. I think that mentality is changing and investors may be underestimating the impact. IGT could emerge from this fat boot camp “a lean, mean, fighting machine” (Dewey Oxburger, Stripes, 1981).