Spectacular Speedway Motorsports

Speedway Motorsports (NYSE: TRK  ) reported first-quarter revenue growth of 16% and earnings growth of 29% on a comparable basis.

The company, which owns six major racing venues primarily used for stock-car racing, moved the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series events at Texas Motor Speedway from the first quarter to the second quarter. Since a single NASCAR event accounts for a significant portion of the company's revenue, the results are not directly comparable to last year's first quarter.

Accounting for the rescheduled events sent revenue down 16% to $122.2 million. Reported net income fell 29% to $24.7 million, while earnings per share decreased 30% to $0.57.

The company said that Atlanta Motor Speedway had record attendance during the quarter, and other tracks hosted sold-out events. At first glance, it would seem that the growth potential for Speedway Motorsports and its competitors International Speedway (Nasdaq: ISCA  ) and Dover Motorsports (NYSE: DVD  ) would be somewhat limited. Or that they might be approaching a saturation point for the public's appetite for motorsports. That doesn't appear to be the case, though.

It's true that as the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup series is currently structured, they can't keep adding new tracks as the schedule is pretty much full. But in many cases, they can keep adding seats to existing events. Speedway Motorsports, for example, can currently seat more than 750,000 and believes that current demand exceeds that capacity.

Then there are revenues from television licensing and vending. And it's not inconceivable that down the road the structure of the most popular racing series could be altered to accommodate growth. That's been the norm for professional sports over the years. The almighty dollar and consumer demand will continue to drive the direction of the industry.

Are you a racing fan? Who's your favorite driver? Drive on over to our NASCAR discussion board to share your thoughts.

Fool contributor Mark Mahorney doesn't own shares of any companies mentioned.


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