Shares of Churchill Downs Inc. (CHDN 0.30%) were in the money last month, climbing 14%, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. The stock got a boost from a strong earnings report at the beginning of the month and continued to grow from there.
The owner of the Churchill Downs racetrack as well as other casinos and entertainment venues delivered another solid quarter thanks to a seventh consecutive record-setting Kentucky Derby week. Revenue increased 7% in the quarter to $438.5 million, driving a 33% increase in EPS to $4.11, topping estimates of $3.57. The Derby makes the second quarter by far the most profitable one for Churchill Downs, meaning the strong bottom-line growth is especially important. Shares gained 5% the day of the report and moved higher through the rest of the month.
CEO Bill Carstenjen noted growth in all operating segments as well as record-setting quarters for revenue, net income, and adjusted EBITDA. Revenue growth came primarily from a $20.7 million increase in sales at Big Fish Games, which makes games like Big Fish Casino for computers and mobile devices.
Churchill Downs has been a low-profile winner on the market in recent years as shares have more than tripled in the last five years. The combination of horse racing, casinos, and online games makes the company diversified in the industry and provides a portfolio of services that are difficult to disrupt. The way consumers spend money is changing, but horse racing and gaming have proven enduring, and millennials' preference for spending on experiences instead of things should favor Churchill Downs in the years ahead.
The company's operating structure also means modest gains in the top line translate to larger ones on the bottom line. I'd expect the stock to continue outperforming.