Penn National Gaming Inc. shares dropped more than 10% last Thursday trading after the gambling company reported earnings that more than doubled expectations. Penn reported first-quarter profit of $91 million, or 55 cents a share, improving from a loss of $5.26 a share in the same quarter a year ago, which was mostly due to an impairment charge of more than $600 million related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Penn reported net revenue of $1.28 billion, up from $1.12 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts on average expected earnings of 26 cents a share on sales of $1.14 billion.
Shares dove in Thursday’s trading session despite the earnings beat, with Penn suffering the second-weakest day of any S&P 500 stock behind only Etsy Inc.’s ETSY, +4.97% post-earnings selloff. Jefferies analysts had expected “a neutral to modestly positive reaction in the shares” after the numbers hit, but said that a slower rollout of online gambling options could temper enthusiasm.
“The upside in the quarter … should be expected given the regional strength previously indicated by peers, but is positive nonetheless. Separately, the ongoing transformation to a technology-driven enterprise continues to progress, albeit more gradually than some peers, [which] could temper the Street’s bullishness in response,” the analysts wrote ahead of Thursday morning’s conference call.
Executives did not appear to provide any reason for pessimism in the call, with Chief Executive Jay Snowden calling out improving metrics into the current quarter. The company did not provide any official guidance for the current quarter nor year due to pandemic uncertainty.
“Our performance in March and April … reflects the additional easing of restrictions and an increase in the percentage of people vaccinated. Revenues were 8% over the same two-month period in 2019, while adjusted Ebitdar accelerated 29% to $410 million and Ebitdar margins increased 650 basis points to nearly 40%. We also note that spend-per-visit is much higher than it was pre-COVID,” Snowden said.
Penn has seen its stock rise more than 400% in the past year amid further legalization of sports betting and its investment in popular sports website Barstool.