Penn National Gaming's ( PENN) profit may have been slightly down in the first quarter, but there were gold linings in the casino operator's performance.

Penn beat Wall Street estimates and guided earnings and revenue higher for 2009, and shares jumped 8.5% in Thursday morning trading, up $2.37 to $30.08.

Penn reported net income of $40.66 million, or 38 cents a share, compared with $40.74 million, or 46 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue was off 1.7% to $612.23 million. But analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected EPS of 34 cents a share on $608.2 million in revenue.

"Our first quarter results are impressive when considering the current macroeconomic environment, and they highlight the strength and diversity of our gaming operations, the resilience of many of the markets where we operate and the dedication and focus of our managers and employees," said Peter M. Carlino, chairman and CEO.

Joseph Greff, gaming analyst at JPMorgan, viewed the results positively.

"These were solid results in light of extremely tough industry fundamentals, and we believe this reflects the health of PENN's markets, its strong competitive positioning in these regional, drive-to markets, and the ability to extract margin improvement even on flat year-over-year revenue performance," Greff wrote in a note to clients. "Tough to find a bone to pick within the 1Q09 results."

Penn also sees EPS of 35 cents vs. Wall Street consensus of 34 cents for the second quarter, and $1.38 vs. $1.33 for the year. Penn expects 2009 revenue of $2.49 billion vs. the $2.47 billion Street consensus.

If you liked this article you might like

Penn National Gaming, Wynn Resorts: 'Mad Money' Lightning Round

Valuation Is in the Eye of the Buyer: Cramer's 'Mad Money' Recap (Tuesday 4/4/17)

Bullish and Bearish Reversals for This Week

Five Stocks Breaking Out of Weekly Technical Chart Patterns

Carnival, Network Appliance, Schlumberger, Randgold: 'Mad Money' Lightning Round