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2013 is panning out to be a great year for investors in
International Game Technology (
IGT). Shares of the mid-cap slot machine maker have climbed more than 34% since the calendar flipped over to January. Now a boost to IGT's 10-cent dividend payout spells even more upside for the second half of the year.
>>4 Big Tech Stocks on Traders' Radars
IGT is the biggest manufacturer of casino gaming equipment in the world. Calling them "slot machines" is a little bit of a sleight -- the firm's digitally-powered machines are designed to provide gamers with a much more immersive experience than the old mechanical spinning wheels ever could. And the technology and branding in IGT's games translates into an economic moat for investors. It's a deep moat too: IGT currently controls around 20% of the gaming equipment market.
The debate over online gambling presents a big potential tailwind for IGT, as it opens a big market for the firm's social gaming business. Even as-is, though, IGT's numbers are attractive: this sin stock earns net margins deep in the double digits, it carries a manageable debt load, and it sports a perfunctory earnings multiple. With an impressive track record of boosting dividend payout each quarter, expect to see this stock's 2% yield get hiked sooner rather than later.
To see all of this week's Rocket Stocks in action, check out
the Rocket Stocks portfolio at Stockpickr.
-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.