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Why the Aristocrat Leisure Limited share price is closing in on an all-time high

The Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL) share price has edged higher this morning following the release of a solid half-year result.

In early trade the gaming solutions company’s shares were up 3.5% and just a fraction off their all-time high at $20.94.

Highlights from the first-half include:

  • Half-year revenue from ordinary activities increased 21.6% on the prior corresponding period to $1,228.2 million.
  • Half-year profit from ordinary activities after tax jumped a massive 56.9% to $249.6 million.
  • Half-year NPATA up 49% to $272.9 million.
  • Interim partially franked dividend of 14 cents per share, up from 10 cents per share.
  • Diluted earnings per share up 56% to 39 cents.
  • Reiterated full-year NPATA growth guidance of between 20% and 30%.

All in all I felt this was another excellent result from the fast-growing gaming solutions company and I can’t say I’m surprised to see its shares edge higher.

While the strong result was driven by an impressive performance across the company’s global portfolio, its Americas business was the clear highlight.

Net profit after tax and before amortisation of acquired intangibles (NPATA) in the Americas increased $64.7 million on the prior corresponding period thanks largely to a 32% expansion in its Class III premium gaming operations footprint.

Furthermore, growth in its Class II gaming operations footprint and its average fee per day also played a role in the strong performance.

Elsewhere its Digital segment continued to impress. Segment profit increased 53.3% to $77.7 million due largely to the sustained popularity of its Heart of Vegas game and the successful launch of Cashman Casino.

This led to an 11.6% increase in daily active users to 1.4 million and a 22.5% jump in average revenue per active daily user to 49 U.S. cents.

Although full-year NPATA growth is expected to be lower than its half-year growth, this is a result of the company’s planned increase in design & development and the impact of new openings in the first-half of the financial year.

Should you invest?

Whilst its shares are by no means cheap at 30x trailing earnings, I think Aristocrat Leisure could prove to be a good long-term buy and hold investment given its current growth profile.

With all of the company’s segments performing strongly, I would choose it ahead of rival Ainsworth Game Technology Limited (ASX: AGI) today.

As well as Aristocrat Leisure, I think these fast-growing shares could be great buy and hold investments as well.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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