- The Washington Times - Monday, December 20, 2004

Micros Systems Inc. has won another major contract with a hotel and gaming operator, helping the company secure its leading role as an information technology provider for the hospitality industry.

MGM Mirage says it plans to use the software of the Columbia, Md.-based company to run its computerized operations at five Las Vegas properties and one in Biloxi, Miss.

The contract for an undisclosed amount adds to steady gains the company has made in the past two years. In the quarter ended Sept. 30, Micros Systems’ net income more than doubled to $9.7 million, or 50 cents per diluted share, compared with $4.8 million, or 25 cents per diluted share, a year earlier.

Micros Systems stock closed down $1.83 per share yesterday at $73.29, or 2.44 percent.

Six months ago it was trading at $43.80 per share.

“The outlook is quite positive,” said Robin Roberts, financial analyst for the investment banking firm Stephens Inc. “The company has a strong management team and a very consistent executive track record and a stable work force.”

However, Stephens gives Micros Systems’ stock an “equal-weight” rating.

“I think it’s expensive,” Mrs. Roberts said.

Another financial firm, First Albany, gives Micros Systems a “buy” rating.

Micros Systems makes point-of-sale terminals, central-reservation systems and other hardware and management software for the hospitality industry.

Major customers include Hilton Hotels, La Madeleine restaurants and Marriott International hotels.

Micros Systems offers similar software to the retail industry through its subsidiary Datavantage.

The company’s dominance of its industry also could be its greatest obstacle to success, Mrs. Roberts said.

“They have very strong market demand,” she said. “It’s a matter of being able to hire enough people, train them quickly and get those people to do quality implementation.”

A failure to meet the demand for service could shift some of Micros Systems’ market to other companies, she said.

Most of the company’s competition consists of niche providers that offer only one of the several services that hotels, restaurants and retail outlets need.

MGM Mirage is purchasing the Micros Opera Enterprise system to manage scheduling, reservations, gaming and revenue. It also is designed to standardize the company’s guest information and training techniques.

The software is “the perfect fit for the resort and casino environment,” said Tina McClay, Micros Systems’ vice president for casino business.

The contract with MGM Mirage follows by days another deal with Shell Vacations Club, which operates 17 resorts in six states and Canada. Company officials said they chose Micros Systems’ software to manage their time-share vacation properties.

Micros Systems was founded in 1977 with the goal of bringing information technology to the hotel and restaurant industry, which traditionally has been a paper and cash register business.

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