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Penn National Disappoints

The casino company's earnings and guidance are both below Wall Street's targets.

Penn National Gaming

(PENN) - Get Penn National Gaming, Inc. Report

posted fourth-quarter earnings that fell short of analyst estimates, and the casino operator offered disappointing guidance for 2007.

Penn National earned $87.3 million, or $1 a share, in the fourth quarter, up from $37.6 million, or 44 cents per share, a year earlier. The latest quarter's results were boosted by insurance payments for Hurricane Katrina damage.

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Excluding the insurance payments, the company earned 32 cents a share, missing the analysts' mean estimate of 38 cents, according to Thomson Financial.

Penn's revenue from its riverboat casinos and race tracks rose 14% to $573 million, beating management's guidance of $559 million.

The earnings miss was mostly due to merger costs and higher depreciation, Deutsche Bank analyst Bill Lerner wrote in a research note Thursday morning. Adjusting for those costs, EPS would have totaled 36 cents per share, in line with his estimate, he said.

For 2007, Penn National forecast earnings per share of $1.86, below the consensus estimate of $1.90.

Shares of Penn National were trading down $1.20, or 2.5%, to $46.27.