The big payday at Churchill Downs
And while the first quarter is light on thoroughbred racing, President and CEO Thomas Meeker used the press release to talk about "alternative gaming" anyway. "We believe that the long-term success of our company and the industry depend upon a level playing field with competitors in the gaming industry," Meeker explains.
He's not talking about horses. Indeed, plenty of racing facilities host gaming (gambling). Empire Resorts
Perhaps the best marriage of horse racing and gaming is Penn National
Even casino heavyweight Harrah's Entertainment
For now, Churchill has to make money from racing. For full-year 2004, that's expected to be $1.70 per share, down from the $1.80 it earned in 2003, though analysts expect the company to return to the $1.80 level in 2005. In other words, for 22 times earnings, you get a company with earnings going nowhere, a debt-to-equity ratio that's dicey at 48%, and the need for state legislation to help improve its margins.
Feeling lucky? Why bet on a horse standing still at the gate?Is anyone else surprised that only 250,000 people registered for the free contest to win $5 million by picking the exact order of finish for the 18 horses in the Kentucky Derby? No person got the order right but one person picked the first five finishers in order -- and won $25,000. If she had bet the superfecta she would have won $41,380 - but that's not free!
Fool contributor W.D. Crotty does not own stock in any of the companies mentioned.