Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports. Zacks Investment Research currently has $22.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Penn National have underperformed the industry in the past year. In second-quarter 2019, the company’s earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate but revenues lagged the same. However, the top line witnessed a sharp improvement year over year. Penn National’s initiatives, involving revenue-boosting and cost-saving initiatives, are expected to reap recurring benefits over the years. Furthermore, the company reported margin expansion and may continue to do so, courtesy of its ongoing refinements in procurement, marketing and labor management. Moreover, the company is focusing on sports betting expansion to drive growth. To this end, Penn National has announced historic strategic partnerships with DraftKings, PointsBet, theScore and The Stars Group. The acquisition of Pinnacle also bodes well for the company.”

PENN has been the topic of a number of other reports. Union Gaming Research raised shares of Penn National Gaming from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, August 2nd. TheStreet raised shares of Penn National Gaming from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 24th. Susquehanna Bancshares started coverage on shares of Penn National Gaming in a research report on Wednesday, July 24th. They set a positive rating and a $25.00 price target on the stock. Deutsche Bank reissued a buy rating and set a $27.00 price target on shares of Penn National Gaming in a research report on Sunday, August 4th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of Penn National Gaming from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 16th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nine have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $27.74.

Penn National Gaming stock opened at $20.68 on Friday. Penn National Gaming has a 1-year low of $16.72 and a 1-year high of $28.50. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.37 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.24, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.31 and a beta of 1.72. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $19.47 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $19.58. The company has a current ratio of 0.71, a quick ratio of 0.71 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.89.

Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 1st. The company reported $0.44 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.34 by $0.10. Penn National Gaming had a net margin of 1.90% and a return on equity of 7.61%. The firm had revenue of $1.32 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.33 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.57 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 60.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts forecast that Penn National Gaming will post 1.56 EPS for the current year.

In other Penn National Gaming news, Director David A. Handler bought 30,000 shares of Penn National Gaming stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 7th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $17.68 per share, for a total transaction of $530,400.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 169,870 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,003,301.60. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Saul Reibstein bought 3,000 shares of Penn National Gaming stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 14th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $17.30 per share, with a total value of $51,900.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 8.53% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of PENN. Nuveen Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Penn National Gaming by 7,627.1% in the second quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 5,025,319 shares of the company’s stock worth $96,787,000 after purchasing an additional 4,960,284 shares in the last quarter. Morgan Stanley increased its stake in shares of Penn National Gaming by 1,281.7% in the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,332,283 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,660,000 after purchasing an additional 1,235,862 shares in the last quarter. Balyasny Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Penn National Gaming by 667.5% in the second quarter. Balyasny Asset Management LLC now owns 1,117,741 shares of the company’s stock worth $21,528,000 after purchasing an additional 972,104 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Penn National Gaming by 7.6% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 7,772,497 shares of the company’s stock worth $156,228,000 after purchasing an additional 547,387 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Penn National Gaming by 16.9% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,902,821 shares of the company’s stock worth $36,648,000 after purchasing an additional 275,782 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 98.98% of the company’s stock.

Penn National Gaming Company Profile

Penn National Gaming, Inc owns and manages gaming and racing facilities, and operates video gaming terminals with a focus on slot machine entertainment. The company operates through four segments: Northeast, South, West, and Midwest. As of December 31, 2018, it owned, managed, or had ownership interests in 40 facilities in 18 jurisdictions.

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