Penn National Gaming Inc. (NASDAQ:PENN) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Apr 26, 2018 • 09:00 am ET

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Penn National Gaming Inc. (NASDAQ:PENN) Q1 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Q & A
Analyst
Carlo Santarelli

bit more favorable, given some of the competitive dynamics.

Executive
Unidentified Speaker

Carlo, I'll just take that at a very high level. We have not seen, with a couple of exceptions, competitive environments recently that have had high levels of promotional spending. But that said, I do think with the continued consolidation of regional gaming operators and the removal of the one-off that are not large strategic publicly traded companies. I do think the consolidation will create a more favorable competitive environment from a promotional spending perspective. So, it's very tough to quantify, but I do think what's happening here with all of the transactions going on, consolidating the regional gaming space. I think that it can only benefit us moving forward as we think about operating Penn and Pinnacle as one company.

Analyst
Unidentified Participant

The only thing that I would add to Tim's comments would be that we are certainly continuing to learn a lot as we deploy these margin improvement initiatives across the Penn portfolio. And I can tell you in my conversations with the leaders at Pinnacle, I'm learning a lot on great things they're doing that we're not doing at Penn. So, look, I feel as good today as I've ever felt about the synergy targets, and we'll have more information as time goes. But I think some of these best practices that we're deploying now are certainly going to benefit the overall combined portfolio.

Analyst
Carlo Santarelli

Great. Thanks so much, guys.

Operator
Operator

Our next question comes from Felicia Hendrix with Barclays. You may proceed with your question.

Analyst
Felicia Hendrix

Hi. Good morning.

Executive
Unidentified Speaker

Good morning, Felicia.

Analyst
Felicia Hendrix

So, you guys, just in line with some of the questioning that we just went through, on the margin improvement program, not only have you guys done better, but your guidance implies that you're coming in kind of -- you could come in better than you originally anticipated. And I'm just wondering a few things. The first is, if maybe you can help us understand some of the incremental benefits that you're seeing. you did do better on the margin side by 100 basis points in the quarter. So, obviously, there's some surprises. I know it's a lot of hard work, but there's probably some surprises. So, I was wondering if you could talk about that, both in the quarter, but also for the rest of the year. And the other thing that I'm wondering is, just as you are digging into and working with Pinnacle to close the transaction and to see -- you're getting into their business. I'm just wondering is there anything that you're learning from them that you could be applying today, and is there any chance that those synergies could be higher than $100 million.

Executive
Unidentified Speaker

Well, I'll tackle the second one first, Felicia. And, look, we're continuing to interact regularly with the leaders at Pinnacle, but I really don't feel like four months in. I have thorough enough understanding of how all decisions are being made and what the opportunities might be that we can