Penn National Gaming Inc (PENN), January 9th, 2021


Ticker: PENN

Last Trade Price: $93.75

Short Term Rating: Hold

Long Term Rating: Buy

Price Objective: $110

Business Strategy and Outlook

Penn is in a unique position moving into 2021. They currently are in a place of high growth opportunity. Sportsbooks in October had a YOY increase of $279.7M (80.8%), and iGaming had a YOY increase of $156M (209.5%). For the 10 Month YOY change, the sportsbook vertical grew $957.6M or 39.1%, and the iGaming vertical had increased by $1.23B or (206.2%). Penn Gaming has a strong foothold in the online casino/sportsbooks, along with established casinos. The majority of Penn’s revenue derives from having Brick-and-Mortar casinos that provide in-person Gaming. Penn is looking to create an omnichannel synergy with the making of the Barstool Sportsbook and online gambling. The recent surge of online sportsbooks such as Fanduel and DraftKings has created a new market space for other casinos to develop their apps for people to place bets legally. Penn’s business strategy focuses on two major segments –Gaming and Hospitality (Food, Beverage, hotels).

The key driver to Penn’s revenue is Gaming (Gambling); they are a casino company, and Gaming has made up 81% of their income for the last two years. The Gaming segment has evolved after the forced shutdowns of Brick-and-Mortar Casinos due to Covid-19.

Online sportsbooks such as FanDuel and Draftkings have a stronghold of the online market. However, Barstool Sportsbook’s recent creation has allowed Penn to sit at the table and take over some market share. The value that Barstool brings to Penn is immense. Barstool’s fanbase brings 66M Unique Monthly visitors to the table, a built-in audience that other casinos cannot compete with. Not only does the number of visitors provide a massive boost, but there is a little crossover of users from Penn Casinos and the Barstool audience. Traditional casinos tend to draw an older audience, while Barstools’ audience is dominant in the 18-35 years old range.


(Penn – Barstool Investment Presentation)



A significant market has begun to emerge with the states continually passing legal sports betting and companies trying to take hold of each market segmentation. Fifteen states currently have legalized online sportsbooks, and an additional five more states have approved in-person sportsbooks. It also depicts 14 states may have legal sports betting pass within the next two years. Penn can take a stake in a market that is growing in front of them.

What Barstool provides Penn that other Casinos lack is a sizeable natural audience. Other online sportsbooks and even Brick-and-Mortar casinos have to spend millions of dollars in marketing to drive users to their product. Marketing is one of the largest expenses that Fanduel and Draftkings have on their income statement, and Penn has managed to reduce the to remove that cost off of their income statement nearly completely. We will look into the 10Q reports of Draftkings (Online Sportsbook) and the MGM Casinos (Brick-and-Mortar) to dive into their marketing budget and compare them to Penn national. The two spreadsheets show a massive investment in the marketing/advertisement portion of their business. In Q3, Draftkings spent over $203M in marketing to reach new consumers in these emerging markets. While MGM in 2019 spent $257M in advertising as they have established brand recognition and have established market share of their casinos. In Penn Gaming’s Q3-10Q, they announced that their advertising/marketing budget would be $17.5M, of which $16.3M will be for the “long-term,” meaning that they are allocating $1.2M in the short term. Penn has spent less than 0.5% of MGM’s marketing budget and less than .6% of the marketing budget of Draftkings.

We anticipate many states will begin to legalize sports gambling soon, and an emerging market will appear. We also expect Draftkings to increase spending on marketing on a national scale rather than local to draw as large of an audience as possible. While on the other hand, Penn has already opened legal Sportsbooks in one state (Pennsylvania) and is looking to move into Michigan next. Instead of focusing on taking over already established markets, Penn is looking to proceed on states that have recently passed legal sports betting. This strategy will allow Penn to take a larger market share and secure non-affiliated gamblers instead of converting gamblers who are already committed to another company.

Penn’s Hospitality portion of the business makes up the remaining 19% of its revenue. The quarterly reports show that the Hospitality segment has faced significant revenue loss, which will continue into 2021.

Another issue, along with Hospitality revenue, is that Penn does not own all of its casinos. Real Estate Investment trusts own these buildings and rent them back out to Penn. Having fixed assets like this can be essential and paying rent can be detrimental to keeping afloat. On the other side of this, having a large debt structure when property values are depreciating can cause Penn to go bankrupt. The largest regional casino REIT owns Penn properties, and their reported data show that even in a time of little revenue, the casino segment was able to pay nearly all the rent due. Penn has decreased its long-term liabilities throughout 2020 in the form of paying off its rent. This allows DraftKings and FanDuel to be tied to long-term lease liabilities as their expansion is linked to their app.

Casino Segmentation

As depicted in the Pie Chart, over half of Penn’s revenue is from the Northeast segment. With Covid-19 cases increasing daily, the Casinos have faced the strictest Covid guidelines. We will look into the 10K report in February to confirm this trend. If the Northeast continues to implement strict Covid-19 guidelines, they will have to rely on their other regional segments to generate revenue. Fortunately for Penn, the acquisition of Barstool has allowed them not solely to rely on casino operations.

Performance and Risk

Tiger Wolf Capital focuses on two things: is this company profitable? Do people want to buy their product?

After taking a close look into PENN’s 10Q report, we see that the company is operating at a significant loss for the nine months of 2020. As a result of the forced shutdown of all Casinos, a substantial reduction in revenues, operating margins, and cash flows were inevitable. In the first nine months of 2020, Penn reported an increase in long-term debt of 34% since December 31st, 2019.

In Q2 of 2020 and for some part of Q3, Penn has had to pivot to online apps and iGaming. However, The Q3-10Q shows Operating Income to be positive $196.2M, which is an excellent sign that they successfully lateral their business segment. This reveals that Penn was able to bring back its pre-pandemic revenue during the pandemic. They could do this by maintaining their operating expanse low and increasing their sale in their iGaming Division. Penn realized a gain of $68 million in Q3 of iGaming and online sportsbooks, which is a significant increase as for the nine months of 2020, the real growth was $75.5 million.

Moving forward in 2021, as travel restrictions loosen up, we anticipate an average return in revenue for their Brick-and-Mortar casinos. We also do not see iGaming becoming an internal competition against their Brick-and-Mortar casinos, but rather a compliment, just as online sales have not taken away from in-person sales for retail stores. With the Covid-19 vaccine’s approval, Penn’s Gaming and Hospitality segment should heavily rebound to pre Covid-19 levels and beyond. We will keep a close watch on the 10K to confirm that the trend is continuing upward.


We find it interesting that in looking at revenue segmentation, we can see that the Hospitality segment has gained a more significant revenue share since 2014. Referring to our initial statement, we focus on if people want Penn Gaming’s product; the results speak for themselves. Over 60 thousand people downloaded the Barstool Sportsbook app from September 18th to October 29th, and it was the #1 sports app nationwide. The demand for the product is there, and the revenue nationwide will soon follow. They had a total handle of $78M from only one month and one state of legal sports betting. When Penn Gaming releases their 10K presentation, we will look for a continued positive trend of downloads and total wagers. What Barstool brings to the online sportsbook is a unique personality and engaging experience. Users have drawn to these personalities and will follow along with their bets.

Another issue that investors tend to see is that online sportsbooks will lower the total amount of in-person wagers and that total revenue will decline. We have gone through the New Jersey Department of Gaming to look at the trends of in-person Gaming and iGaming to observe their correlation. As you can see, the Casino shutdowns caused a slight spike in internet winnings, but the re-opening did not impact online wagers. This is a positive sign for Penn. Moving forward, they will be able to receive revenue streams from their Brick-and-Mortar establishments along with the Barstool Sportsbook app. Penn Gaming will now be able to synergize their sportsbook and provide a younger audience into the Retail table/slot gaming experience. An omnichannel synergy of Barstools’ younger audience and Penn Gaming’s established casinos will give a massive boost.

Technical Analysis

The levels to watch are $93.66 and $87.86

Currently, $PENN is trading at $88.31. PENN has used the 14 Day SMA as support since November 23rd and has retested this moving average as support several times. Last week, Penn had fallen below the 14-Day SMA and used the 30-Day SMA as support for the previous two days. With recent positive news Penn has rebounded above the 14-Day SMA and will begin to use this level as support. We will keep watch of the $87.86 level for support and buy call options to the $93.66 level; if we can break this resistance, we can hold the calls to retest the all-time high.

The case for the bear:

We see the stock price potentially retest the 14-Day SMA as it did previously. At that point, if it does not hold this moving average, we can begin to short to the 30-Day SMA at $78.49. If the 30-Day SMA does not hold support, we can keep a short position until we can find another support level at $72.70.

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