Penn National Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ:PENN) shares saw unusually-strong trading volume on Friday . Approximately 487,360 shares traded hands during mid-day 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 have recently weighed in on PENN shares. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $25.00 price objective (up previously from $22.00) on shares of Penn National Gaming in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. BidaskClub cut Penn National Gaming from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 22nd. Zacks Investment Research raised Penn National Gaming from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $24.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, July 5th. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $23.00 price objective on shares of Penn National Gaming in a research report on Friday, July 14th. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group raised their price objective on Penn National Gaming from $23.00 to $24.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, July 28th. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. Penn National Gaming presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $21.30.

The stock has a market capitalization of $2.19 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.15 and a beta of 0.97. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $22.33 and a 200 day moving average price of $20.46.

Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the 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 company had revenue of $796.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $788.65 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.37 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 3.5% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Penn National Gaming, Inc. will post $0.61 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Jay A. Snowden sold 50,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $20.86, for a total transaction of $1,043,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 86,281 shares in the company, valued at $1,799,821.66. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, EVP Carl Sottosanti sold 20,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $22.00, for a total transaction of $440,000.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 45,831 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,008,282. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 198,319 shares of company stock valued at $4,455,938 in the last 90 days. 10.17% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in PENN. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Penn National Gaming by 138,953.6% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 8,898,040 shares of the company’s stock worth $163,992,000 after buying an additional 8,891,641 shares during the period. FMR LLC boosted its stake in shares of Penn National Gaming by 689.3% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 5,132,702 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,840,000 after buying an additional 4,482,402 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its stake in shares of Penn National Gaming by 1,387.8% during the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,839,178 shares of the company’s stock worth $33,896,000 after buying an additional 1,715,562 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Penn National Gaming by 17.7% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,939,822 shares of the company’s stock worth $127,901,000 after buying an additional 1,043,087 shares during the period. Finally, Lord Abbett & CO. LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Penn National Gaming during the second quarter worth about $20,760,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 95.31% of the company’s stock.

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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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