Posted on: December 8, 2020, 02:54h.
Last updated on: December 8, 2020, 02:56h.
Shares of Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) jumped 8.87 percent Tuesday as the regional gaming stock touched all-time highs, a move that sparked a boisterous social media video from Barstool Sports founder David Portnoy.
In his own words, Portnoy owns “a ton of Penn stock,” a stake acquired when the casino operator shelled out $163 million in cash and equity for a 36 percent slice of Barstool earlier this year. The gaming company can eventually own the media property outright for $450 million.
Since that deal was struck in January, Penn stock and Portnoy have often been joined at the hip with some on Wall Street anointing the outspokn entrepreneur the face of the company. Although the exact amount of Penn equity Portnoy owns hasn’t been revealed, he’s worth an estimated $120 million and is a consistent cheerleader for the stock, something experts speculate could run afoul of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules.
To that end, Portnoy was clear in his Tuesday video to declare his ownership in the stock, that he wants it to go up, that it could go down and investors enter the name at their own risk.
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) December 8, 2020
On volume that was slightly above the daily average, Penn stock traded as high as $79.74 today before settling at $78.88, extending a run that’s seen the name soar 122.65 percent over the past six months.
Today’s catalyst is chatter that the Michigan Gaming Control Board is progressing toward the start of online and mobile sports betting and that it could commence in the Wolverine State as early as six weeks from now if everything stays on the track. That’s vital to Penn because Michigan is the next state where the company will roll out the Barstool Sportsbook betting app. Currently, it’s only available in the operator’s home state of Pennsylvania.
“I’m gettin’ ready to go to Michigan,” said Portnoy in the video. “When Michigan says ‘Hey, we’re open for business,’ I’m bringing me and my green hammers (seen in the video) there and we’re gonna start crackin’ skulls.”
Since launching in the Keystone State in mid-September, Barstool Sportsbook is one of the most downloaded sports wagering apps there. A broader rollout is expected in 2021 and Penn is in the process of branding its retail books with the Barstool name.
Not Satisfied With $78
Apparently not one to rest on his laurels or new found wealth, Portnoy questioned those that think he’s happy the stock reached $78 — $78.88 to be precise — saying wants the shares to go to $7.8 million.
Penn stock going to the seven-digit club probably isn’t a realistic expectation as its not common for individual US equities to even trade close to $10,000. However, as things stand today, only Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN) at $111.31 has a higher price tag among domestic gaming equities than does Penn National.