Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ:PNK) jumped as much as 10% after the regional gaming reported fourth-quarter earnings today. By 1:15 p.m., shares were up about 8% from yesterday's close.
So what: Quarterly revenue increased 3.6% to $554.3 million and net income from continuing operations rose 65% to $14.2 million. On an adjusted basis, which pulls out one-time costs, earnings per share were $0.40, topping Wall Street's estimate of $0.29 per share.
Now what: The story for Pinnacle is more about cost-cutting than it is about growth, which is to be expected in the regional gaming market right now. The expansion of gambling across the country diluted results at both new and existing casinos, leading to the low profit environment we see today.
That operational backdrop creates too much risk for investors to jump in at the moment. Pinnacle's enterprise value-to-EBITDA ratio is 9.1 on a trailing basis, which is in line with what you can get at Wynn Resorts or Las Vegas Sands. Those companies, though, have lower debt ratios, more cash flow, and pay dividends, and I think that's where investors should be looking today instead of Pinnacle Entertainment.