May 7, 2021 3 min read


Penn 2021 First Quarter Results Point to Strong Recovery

Penn National Gaming revealed yesterday it generated in the first quarter of 2021 $1.27 billion of revenue driven by its online sports betting and iGaming businesses.

2019 Revenue Levels with Higher Trading Margin

The increase of 14% compared to $1.16 billion posted in the first quarter of 2020 was more than enough for the gaming operator to reverse its quarterly net income result from $608.6 million loss for Q1 2020 to $90.9 million profit for the reported three-month period.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) came out at $336.6 million, posting 117% increase from $154.8 million for the first quarter in 2020. Adjusted EBITDAR, EBITDA with rent expenses including leases, was $447 million, up from $252.3 million for the respective quarter in the prior year.

While revenues posted increase year-over-year, compared to the first quarter of 2019, the latest respective period prior to the coronavirus impact, Penn National generated 6% less, while its adjusted EBITDAR was 7% higher, and net income more than doubled.

“Penn National kicked off the year with record results in Q1 2021 from our land-based business and the launch of our online Barstool Sportsbook in Michigan and Illinois.”

Jay Snowden, President and CEO, Penn National Gaming

Penn attributes the strong results to its Barstool Sportsbook, iCasino platforms and land-based gaming properties despite those in Pennsylvania and Illinois being closed for a period of time in January, besides its New Mexico Zia Park which remained closed until early March.

“We remain focused on garnering top-three gaming revenue market share for the Barstool Sportsbook and driving best in class profitability. Since launching our product just over seven months ago, we have registered more than 400,000 customers and generated over $660 million and $61 million in handle and gaming revenue, respectively.”

Jay Snowden, President and CEO, Penn National Gaming

An adjustment for the days casinos were closed and excluding Penn Interactive contribution shows a decline in revenues of 9% while adjusted EBITDAR increases by 12% pointing to a significant improvement of more than 700 points on trading margin in Q1 2021.

Operating Expenses Flat, Record Cash Balance

On the operating expenses front, Penn National accounted for a total of $1.058 billion, down nearly 37% from $1.676 billion for the first quarter in 2020, but it is worth mentioning that in Q1 last year Penn had impairment losses of $616.1 million, a difference which explains the decrease in expenses.

Still, cost efficiency improvements were achieved in operating expenses for food, beverage, hotel, and other and depreciation and amortization, but these were offset by increases in gaming and general administrative expenses.

At the end of the quarter, the cash balance of Penn National Gaming stood at $2.1 billion, while net debt was approximately $353 million, with a lease-adjusted net leverage of 4.5x based on the Q1 2019 EBITDAR.

“With a very strong start to 2021, our goal is to continue to disrupt the gaming industry and position Penn National for ongoing growth through unconventional and fresh approaches.”

Jay Snowden, President and CEO, Penn National Gaming

Lead Author

With 4 years experience as an analyst, Julie—or ‘Jewels’, as we aptly refer to her in the office—is nothing short of a marvel-worthy in her attention to the forex and cryptocurrency space as she quickly became the first pick to co-pilot education to the masses with Mike.

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