Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Penn National Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ:PENN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Penn National Gaming, Inc. are a diversified gaming and pari-mutuel wagering company. Their business strategy is focused on exploiting the higher margins and more stable cash flows associated with gaming operations compared to pari-mutuel operations. “

A number of other analysts have also commented on the stock. BidaskClub lowered shares of Penn National Gaming from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $23.00 target price on shares of Penn National Gaming in a report on Friday, July 14th. Telsey Advisory Group lifted their target price on shares of Penn National Gaming from $23.00 to $24.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Friday, July 28th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Penn National Gaming from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. Finally, Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on shares of Penn National Gaming from $22.00 to $26.00 and gave the stock an equal weight rating in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $21.91.

Shares of Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) traded down $0.01 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $26.06. 839,470 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,050,000. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of -9.29, a current ratio of 0.75 and a quick ratio of 0.75. Penn National Gaming has a 52-week low of $12.03 and a 52-week high of $26.78. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.38 billion, a PE ratio of 35.16, a P/E/G ratio of 6.61 and a beta of 1.32.

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In related news, EVP Carl Sottosanti sold 20,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.00, for a total value of $440,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 45,831 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,008,282. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Jay A. Snowden sold 50,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.86, for a total transaction of $1,043,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 86,281 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,799,821.66. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 420,813 shares of company stock valued at $9,924,682 in the last three months. 10.17% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Meeder Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in Penn National Gaming by 1,461.6% in the 2nd quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,997 shares of the company’s stock worth $107,000 after purchasing an additional 4,677 shares during the period. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. acquired a new position in Penn National Gaming in the 1st quarter worth $134,000. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. boosted its stake in Penn National Gaming by 6.9% in the 2nd quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 7,441 shares of the company’s stock worth $159,000 after purchasing an additional 482 shares during the period. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. acquired a new position in Penn National Gaming in the 2nd quarter worth $206,000. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada boosted its stake in Penn National Gaming by 209.1% in the 2nd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 9,892 shares of the company’s stock worth $212,000 after purchasing an additional 6,692 shares during the period. 94.30% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Penn National Gaming Company Profile

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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Analyst Recommendations for Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN)

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