ajor gains were sourced to manufacturers with headquarters outside the United States. Largely from sales to new Singapore casinos, Aristocrat returned a favourable annual profit and higher dividends than in 2009.
Konami's reported stock gain was largely based on its diversification into other markets by unveiling a popular new game title from its video game software division. The AGEM Index has stayed relatively stable over the last 90 days, when making prior year comparisons, suggesting both good and bad: investors are willing to hold shares in the long term, but the index as a whole is in no longer on the same recovery path as the broader markets.
Selected positive contributors to the index during the month included the following:
* Aristocrat Technologies (ALL) gained 6.4 % in its stock price, contributing 0.87 points to the index.
* Konami (KNM) contributed 0.85 points to the index with a reported a stock price increase of 5.2 %.
Selected negative contributors to the index included:
* International Game Technology (IGT) reduced the composite index by 1.18 points with a 4.14 % decline in its stock price.
* WMS Industries (WMS) witnessed its stock price fall 5.15 %, contributing -0.68 points to the index.
Although the broader equities markets witnessed significant volatility caused by unrest in the Middle East, the AGEM Index was outperformed during the month of February as the Standard and Poor's 500 Index and the NASDAQ Composite closed the month up 3.99 % and 3.55 %, respectively.
While concerned with inflation, particularly from a rise in oil prices, investors continue to hold their position that the gaming sector will continue to recover at a slow pace due to unemployment levels remaining elevated and household disposable income remaining somewhat limited.
Manufacturing on a wider scale has grown at an increasingly faster rate for 19 months based on the Institue for Supply Management's (ISM) Manufacturing Index. Considered a leading economic gauge, this index measures the movements affecting the manufacturing sector each month, reporting a level of 61.4 % in February, its highest level since May 2004