What happened

Shares of gaming company Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) fell 10.4% in February, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, after reporting fourth-quarter results that fell short of expectations. With gaming stocks trading near 52-week highs, even a small miss can sometimes send a stock crashing.

So what

Fourth-quarter revenue was up 6.5% to $590.8 million and adjusted EBITDA rose 6.9% to $148.4 million, both solid improvements in results. But adjusted earnings per share of $0.22 fell $0.04 short of expectations and even revenue was below the $596.2 million analysts were expecting.

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Boyd continues to execute on a slow and steady growth strategy that includes expanding its footprint with the announced acquisition of five new properties. Last quarter, it looks like expectations had just gotten ahead of actual results in the market.

Now what

I don't think there's anything to worry about with Boyd Gaming long term. The company is growing its revenues and earnings as you would hope in a growing economy. And as competitors merge, the industry will consolidate further, which should help push margins higher. Long term, I think this is still a well-positioned company in gaming, even after last month's drop.

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Travis Hoium has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.