CHICAGO (Dow Jones/AP) – Casino operator Penn National Gaming Inc., the owner of Hollywood Slots in Bangor, Maine, on Wednesday reported hefty increases in fourth-quarter profit and revenue, and issued a bullish first-quarter outlook.

Shares of Penn National rose $3.55, or 11 percent, to $35.55 in afternoon trading on the NasdaqNASDAQ Stock Market.

The Wyomissing, Pa.-based company said it earned $37.6 million, or 44 cents a share, on revenue of $524.4 million in the fourth quarter.

Excluding various charges, including hurricane-related expenses, the company would have earned 45 cents a share in the latest quarter.

Revenue nearly doubled with the company’s acquisition of Argosy last year fueling much of the increase.

In the same period a year earlier, it earned $16.9 million, or 20 cents a share, on revenue of $276.5 million.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 43 cents a share, according to Thomson Financial.

Penn said it made significant year-over-year gains at its Casino Rouge in Baton Rouge, La., which has benefited from the closure of many other gambling halls in Louisiana and Mississippi. Revenue at the facility jumped from $26.4 million in the last three months of 2004 to $45.3 million in the final quarter of last year.

Penn expects first quarter revenue of $555.1 million and earnings of 53 cents a share, excluding charges. Analysts are expecting earnings of 50 cents a share.

Penn National owns and operates casino and horse racing facilities in 12 states and Canada.

Penn National opened Hollywood Slots, which has 475 slot machines, in November. The company plans to open a larger Bangor facility in two years with approximately 1,000 slot machines and a capacity for 1,500.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Daily Headlines

  • Sign up and get the top stories to begin the day delivered to your inbox at 6 a.m.