Penn National reports Q4 2020 net income, promises bigger things from Barstool

White arrow going up against a background of US Dollars

Penn National Gaming (PNG) managed to close out 2020 on a positive note, reporting a net income for the fourth quarter. That’s an improvement on 2019’s Q4 net loss, but still feel behind analyst expectations.

PNG’s net income came in at $12.7 million, or 7 cents a share. That resulted off of revenue of $1.027 billion, and improved on the $92.9 million loss of Q4 2019.

While total revenue was down from the $1.341 billion of 2019, cost cutting helped result in black at the bottom of the report.

The company’s West segment, which consists of the Tropicana and M Resort in Southern Nevada, Cactus Pete’s and Horseshu in Jackpot on the Nevada-Idaho border, Ameristar Black Hawk in Colorado and the Zia Park Casino in New Mexico, reported $79.5 million in revenue, down from $158.1 million for 2019. For the year, West segment revenue was $302.5 million, down from $642.5 million.

The star of the report was PNG’s partnership with Barstool Sports, and Penn expects the Barstool app to do great things in 2021, having gone live in Michigan and likely arriving in Illinois in time for March Madness.

Penn President and CEO Jay Snowden said the strong performance will help them acquire Hollywood Casino Perryville in Maryland. “We remain on track to close the acquisition following regulatory approval,” he said. “This transaction provides us the opportunity to expand our unique omnichannel platform into an industry-leading 20th state, and we hope to introduce a Barstool-branded retail sportsbook and mobile app to the valuable Maryland gaming market later this year.”

Understanding the importance of cashless transactions, Snowden also pumped what they’ve doneon that front. “In addition, we have recently launched our mychoice mobile app,” Snowden said. “As of Dec. 31, the app generated over 140,000 downloads with 91,000 monthly active users. The app will provide us with an environmentally friendly and more efficient way to communicate, interact, and engage with our guests. The 35-to-54 age group is currently the most engaged audience with the app, which is very encouraging as this group represents a growing segment of our different business channels.”

Investors liked the good news, driving PNG’s share price up 8.52% on the day. But analysts note that the total revenue was below their expectations of $1.08 billion.

“This morning (Thursday), Penn missed relevant consensus forecasts and focused primarily on the value of the Barstool brand on the call,” said Carlo Santarelli of the New York office of Deutsche Bank. “Simplistically, Penn paid about $450 million for Barstool, and, coupled with the gaming licenses Penn held well before Barstool was contemplated, this pairing is now valued, on a stand-alone basis excluding the core, in a range of $12.5 billion to $14.2 billion.”

Santarelli went on to note that with Barstool being such an emphasis of the presentation, the value it may bring may be more significant than analysts anticipated. It shouldn’t be much a surprise to anyone who’s been following the growth of these media partnerships over the last year.