Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

ISC Expects TV, Other Revenues to Help Offset Dip at Tracks

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

ISC Expects TV, Other Revenues to Help Offset Dip at Tracks

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Basch

If you were reading the sports pages in the days leading up to the Coke Zero 400, you saw that the weak economy is impacting NASCAR racing teams and the fans that follow them.

Last week, we found out that the economy is hurting track owners, too.

International Speedway Corp., which owns the Daytona International Speedway and 12 other motorsports facilities, fell to a five-year low after reporting disappointing second-quarter earnings. The Daytona Beach-based company's adjusted earnings of 54 cents a share were actually 3 cents higher than the second quarter of 2007, but were 1 cent below the consensus forecast of analysts polled by Thomson Financial. And total revenue fell 3 percent to $174.9 million, as fewer fans attended races at ISC's racetracks.

The earnings report sent ISC's stock down as much as $3.49 over two days to $35.88.

After the report, Wachovia Securities analyst Timothy Conder reduced his valuation range on the stock from $43 to $45 a share to $40 to $43.

"We believe shares are short-term oversold, but feel there is no material near-term catalyst to push shares above a $38 to $40 trading range," Conder said in a research note.

The good news for ISC is that NASCAR television ratings are up this year, indicating that fans who don't want to spend the money to go to the track are still interested in watching the races. Track owners share in NASCAR's television revenue, so while ISC's revenue from admissions and concessions declined in the second quarter, TV revenue rose.

"While the economic environment will continue to impact attendance-related revenues, our 2008 full-year results are expected to benefit from increased sponsorship, hospitality, television and certain other motorsports-related revenues," ISC President Lesa France Kennedy said in a press release.

17-YEAR LOW FOR WACHOVIA

Just when you thought bank stocks couldn't go any lower ...

Wachovia Corp. fell to a 17-year low of $12.65 Thursday after projecting a second-quarter loss of between $2.6 billion and $2.8 billion.

But at least Wachovia's stock drop was based on actual news. SunTrust Banks Inc. …

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