Shares of Penn National Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ:PENN) saw strong trading volume on Friday . 487,360 shares traded hands during trading, a decline of 47% from the previous session’s volume of 920,212 shares.The stock last traded at $23.62 and had previously closed at $24.05.

A number of analysts recently weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Penn National Gaming from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 13th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “buy” rating and set a $25.00 target price (up from $22.00) on shares of Penn National Gaming in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. Instinet restated a “neutral” rating and set a $21.00 target price (up from $19.00) on shares of Penn National Gaming in a report on Monday, June 19th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Penn National Gaming from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $24.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, July 5th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus restated a “buy” rating and set a $23.00 target price on shares of Penn National Gaming in a report on Friday, July 14th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $21.00.

The company has a 50-day moving average price of $22.24 and a 200-day moving average price of $20.40. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.18 billion, a PE ratio of 30.04 and a beta of 0.97.

Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.18 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.25 by ($0.07). Penn National Gaming had a net margin of 2.39% and a negative return on equity of 16.72%. The firm had revenue of $796.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $788.65 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.37 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Penn National Gaming, Inc. will post $0.61 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Penn National Gaming news, insider Jay A. Snowden sold 50,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.86, for a total value of $1,043,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 86,281 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,799,821.66. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Jane Scaccetti bought 4,675 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 31st. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $21.47 per share, with a total value of $100,372.25. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 9,975 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $214,163.25. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders sold 198,319 shares of company stock valued at $4,455,938 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 10.17% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Meeder Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in Penn National Gaming by 1,461.6% in the second quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,997 shares of the company’s stock valued at $107,000 after purchasing an additional 4,677 shares in the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. bought a new stake in Penn National Gaming in the first quarter valued at approximately $128,000. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. bought a new stake in Penn National Gaming in the first quarter valued at approximately $134,000. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. bought a new stake in Penn National Gaming in the second quarter valued at approximately $206,000. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada increased its stake in Penn National Gaming by 209.1% in the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 9,892 shares of the company’s stock valued at $212,000 after purchasing an additional 6,692 shares in the last quarter. 95.31% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Penn National Gaming

Penn National Gaming, Inc (Penn) is an owner and manager of gaming and racing facilities, and video gaming terminal operations with a focus on slot machine entertainment. The Company operates through three segments: Northeast, South/West and Midwest. The Northeast segment consists of various properties, including Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, Hollywood Casino Bangor, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course and Hollywood Casino Toledo.

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