Penn National Rises Most in Six Weeks on Profit Jump

Penn National Gaming Inc. gained the most in six weeks after the operator of casinos reported first-quarter profit and revenue that topped analysts’ estimates, helped by a mild winter on the East Coast.

The shares advanced 2.9 percent to $44.54 at the close in New York, the biggest rise since March 7. They have advanced 17 percent this year.

Temperatures above the season’s average in the East and a rebound in consumer spending drove earnings growth. Profit excluding certain items rose to 73 cents a share, Wyomissing, Pennsylvania-based Penn National said, topping the 60 cent average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Net income increased 53 percent to $78.6 million, or 74 cents a share, from $51.5 million, or 48 cents, a year earlier, the company said in a statement today. Revenue rose 10 percent to $736.1 million. Analysts had predicted sales of $705.5 million.

Penn National forecast earnings of 64 cents a share for the second quarter. Analysts estimate 62 cents on average.

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