Penn National Has Record First Quarter

Charles Town Races' slot machines and video lottery terminals were the primary reason Penn National Gaming set first quarter records for revenue, earnings, and net income.

Revenue for the pari-mutuel and casino company based in Grantville, Penn. climbed 101.5% to $106.2 million for the first quarter ending March 31. Revenue for the first quarter of last year was $52.7 million. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) jumped 122.6% to $22.3 million, up from $10 million for the same quarter of 2000. Net income rose 27.5% to $4.6 million, or 30 cents per diluted share, compared with a year ago when the first quarter net income was $3.6 million, or 24 cents per diluted share.

At Charles Town, revenue for the first quarter increased 45.9% to $41.1 million and EBITDA rose 64% to $11 million. The company's first quarter results also benefited from $40.1 million in revenue from its two Mississippi casinos.

"Charles Town's second quarter results to date indicate a continuation of these positive trends as slot machine revenues through April 19 are approximately 40% ahead of the same period last year," said Peter M. Carlino, chief executive officer for Penn National (Nasdaq:PENN).

Revenue at Charles Town could get a substantial boost since West Virginia legislators just passed a bill allowing an increase in the slot machine wagering limit from $2 to $5. The bill still requires Gov. Bob Wise's signature before it become law.