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International Speedway Earnings: An Early Look

By Dan Caplinger - Apr 2, 2013 at 10:01AM

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Can the racetrack operator survive a gruesome accident?

The new earnings season is about to begin, but a few companies on off-quarter fiscal years are just now getting around to reporting their quarterly results. International Speedway (ISCA) is about to release its quarterly earnings report. The key to making smart investment decisions with stocks releasing their quarterly reports is to anticipate how they'll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you'll be less likely to make an uninformed knee-jerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

Auto racing used to be a niche sport, but with the huge rise in interest in Nascar and other events, racing has entered the mainstream. International Speedway is one of the companies behind the scenes, maintaining many of the most popular racetracks and grandstands on the racing circuit, including its crown jewel, the Daytona International Speedway. Let's take an early look at what's been happening with International Speedway over the past quarter and what we're likely to see in its quarterly report on Thursday.

Stats on International Speedway

Analyst EPS Estimate


Change From Year-Ago EPS


Revenue Estimate

$126.5 million

Change From Year-Ago Revenue


Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters


Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Will International Speedway win the checkered flag done this quarter?
Analysts haven't been too bullish on International Speedway's earnings prospects in recent months, as they've cut more than a nickel per share off its most-recent quarter's estimates and lopped nearly $0.20 per share from their full-year fiscal 2013 views. But the stock has raced ahead, climbing nearly 20% since the beginning of the year.

Racing has never been more popular, and International Speedway has the inside track to tap the sport's profit potential. Danica Patrick's qualifying for the pole position in February's Daytona 500 opened up the doors to a whole new group of young fans that could give the sport its next phase of expansion.

But an incident at Daytona on the day before the Daytona 500 in February highlighted the potential liability that International Speedway has. At the Nationwide series race, a car crashed into the outer track fence in a multi-car accident, and pieces of debris from the car entered the stands and caused injuries. Despite having liability waivers on tickets, lawyers involved in the case expect an out-of-court settlement to cover the roughly 30 fans who were injured.

From a bigger-picture perspective, International Speedway faces the same economic woes that have hurt other entertainment companies. Rival Speedway Motorsports (TRK), which operates tracks at Bristol and other popular venues, has seen similarly flat revenue recently. In order to compete for a bigger piece of a pie that hasn't been growing much, International Speedway entered into a deal with Coinstar (OUTR) to provide tickets at Coinstar's movie kiosks.

In its quarterly report, watch for International Speedway to update investors on the Daytona incident and its potential impact on earnings. If Nascar can capitalize on its popularity boost, then International Speedway could benefit in the long run.

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