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If You Had Bought Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) Stock Five Years Ago, You Could Pocket A 62% Gain Today

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While Penn National Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ:PENN) shareholders are probably generally happy, the stock hasn't had particularly good run recently, with the share price falling 12% in the last quarter. On the other hand the returns over the last half decade have not been bad. The share price is up 62%, which is better than the market return of 60%.

See our latest analysis for Penn National Gaming

To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.

During the last half decade, Penn National Gaming became profitable. That would generally be considered a positive, so we'd expect the share price to be up. Given that the company made a profit three years ago, but not five years ago, it is worth looking at the share price returns over the last three years, too. We can see that the Penn National Gaming share price is up 39% in the last three years. Meanwhile, EPS is up 50% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 12% average annual increase in the share price over the same three years. Therefore, it seems the market has moderated its expectations for growth, somewhat.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

NasdaqGS:PENN Past and Future Earnings, July 17th 2019

It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

A Different Perspective

Penn National Gaming shareholders are down 47% for the year, but the market itself is up 6.4%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 10% per year over half a decade. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Penn National Gaming by clicking this link.

Penn National Gaming is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.