Why Shares of Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. Popped Today

By Travis HoiumFool.com

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 ofPinnacle Entertainment Inc. jumped as much as 10% after theregional gaming reported fourth-quarter earnings today. By 1:15 p.m., shares were up about 8% from yesterday's close.

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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.

The article Why Shares of Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. Popped Today originally appeared on Fool.com.

Travis Hoium owns shares of Wynn Resorts, Limited. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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