Is it Still Safe to Acquire Penn National Gaming (PENN) Shares?

Baron Funds, an asset management firm, published its “Baron Focused Growth Fund” first quarter 2022 investor letter – a copy of which can be downloaded here. Baron Focused Growth Fund (the “Fund”) declined 8.03% (Institutional Shares) in the quarter ended March 31, 2022. The Fund’s primary benchmark, the Russell 2500 Growth Index (the “Index”), fell 12.30% in the period. The S&P 500 Index, which measures the performance of large-cap companies, fell 4.60%. Try to spend some time taking a look at the fund’s top 5 holdings to be informed about their best picks for 2022.

In its Q1 2022 investor letter, Baron Focused Growth Fund mentioned Penn National Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ:PENN) and explained its insights for the company. Founded in 1972, Penn National Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ:PENN) is a Wyomissing, Pennsylvania-based casino company with a $5.0 billion market capitalization. Penn National Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ:PENN) delivered a -41.66% return since the beginning of the year, while its 12-month returns are down by -61.12%. The stock closed at $30.25 per share on June 15, 2022.

Here is what Baron Focused Growth Fund has to say about Penn National Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ:PENN) in its Q1 2022 investor letter:

Penn declined 18.2% in the quarter and penalized performance by 54 basis points. This was due to investor concerns over continuing losses from its Barstool business. We believe the $50 million of losses this year from its digital business is modest in relation to Penn’s $1 billion of brick and mortar EBITDA. The losses from its digital business represent customer acquisition costs incurred as additional states legalize online gambling. Since it is far less expensive to retain existing customers than to acquire new ones, we expect marketing costs to decline as Penn builds its customer base. Penn’s core bricks and mortar casino business remains strong, and the company has a healthy regional casino business and a strong balance sheet to fund digital losses.”

Photo by Kvnga on Unsplash

Our calculations show that Penn National Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ:PENN) fell short and didn’t make it on our list of the 30 Most Popular Stocks Among Hedge Funds. Penn National Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ:PENN) was in 36 hedge fund portfolios at the end of the first quarter of 2022. Penn National Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ:PENN) delivered a -32.43% return in the past 3 months.

In February 2022, we also shared another hedge fund’s views on Penn National Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ:PENN) in another article. You can find other investor letters from hedge funds and prominent investors on our hedge fund investor letters 2022 Q1 page.

Disclosure: None. This article is originally published at Insider Monkey.