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Penn National Drops Despite Beating Estimates

Penn National was able to top analyst estimates, but revenue compared to pre-pandemic levels was down 6%.
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Shares of Penn National Gaming Inc.  (PENN) - Get Penn National Gaming Inc. Report dropped Thursday despite the company reporting first-quarter results ahead of analyst estimates.

The casino and gaming company reported first quarter earnings of 55 cents per share on revenue of $1.28 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of 26 cents per share on revenue of $1.14 billion. 

"Penn National kicked off the year with record results in Q1 2021 from our land-based business and the launch of our online Barstool Sportsbook in Michigan and Illinois," CEO Jay Snowden said. 

The company's shares hit an all-time high in March after launching its online sports betting app Barstool Sportsbook in Illinois. 

The company still hasn't reached its pre-pandemic activity levels, however, with first-quarter revenue in 2021 down 6% from the $1.36 billion the company reported in 2019. 

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Penn National shares dropped 9.6% to $82.67 in early afternoon trading Thursday.

In April, analysts at Needham initiated coverage of the gambling company at buy with a $151 price target, calling the risk-reward balance compelling.

The investment firm estimates that the North America gambling market is an emerging $35 billion opportunity.

"We are bullish on the online sports betting and iGaming total addressable market in the U.S. and see the potential for Penn to take significant, profitable market share on the strength of Barstool's differentiated content-driven customer-acquisition strategy," analyst Bernie McTernan said in a report. 

Penn National is the country’s largest regional casino owner, with 41 properties across 19 states.

In February, Founder Jim Cramer recommended buying Penn National on the dip, saying he remains a “gigantic believer” in the company.