DAYTONA BEACH, FL — International Speedway Corp. (ISC) has reported results for the fourth quarter and year, which ended on Nov. 30, 2003.
Total revenue for the 2003 fourth quarter was $164.7 million, compared to $171.7 million in 2002. Operating income for the fourth quarter was $56.5 million compared to $65.3 million for the prior year. Net income was $31.6 million, or $0.60 per diluted share, compared to $37 million, or $0.70 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2002.
Results for the fourth quarter of 2003 were impacted by the timing of Darlington’s fall Winston Cup event, which was held in the fourth quarter of 2002 and the third quarter of 2003. In addition, this year’s fourth quarter results include a $2.5 million pre-tax charge, or $0.03 per diluted share after-tax, to reflect CART’s refusal to return the organization and rights fee previously paid by ISC for the California Speedway event. As previously announced, California’s CART event was cancelled due to wildfires in the region at that time. Actual 2003 fourth quarter revenue and earnings results are at the upper end of the company’s previous range of guidance, before the aforementioned $0.03 per diluted share after-tax charge stemming from the cancelled CART race at California.
For the full year, total revenue increased to a record $575.7 million from $550.6 million in the prior year. Operating income for 2003 was $191.7 million, as compared to $194.2 million in 2002. Net income was $105.4 million, or $1.98 per diluted share, in 2003. The 2003 results include a $0.03 per diluted share after-tax charge relating to a track reconfiguration project at Homestead-Miami Speedway and the aforementioned $0.03 per diluted share after-tax charge for California’s cancelled CART race. For 2002, income before the cumulative effect of an accounting change was $106.3 million, or $2.00 per diluted share. Net loss for the year ended November 30, 2002 was $411.0 million, or $7.74 per diluted share, which included a one-time charge of $517.2 million, or $9.74 per diluted share, associated with the adoption of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 142.
“The fourth quarter of 2003 closed out a challenging, yet successful year for the Company,” said Lesa France Kennedy, president of ISC. “NASCAR’s domestic television broadcast rights fees were the biggest driver of our record total revenue for 2003 and increases in corporate spending for both sponsorship and hospitality also contributed to full year results. Looking at the fourth quarter, the biggest news occurred at the Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami, with the successful debut of that facility’s newly reconfigured racing surface. Driver and fan response was overwhelmingly positive, as evidenced by the outstanding on-track competition and 15 percent increase in weekend attendance. In fact, the Cup series Ford 400 sold out for the first time since 1999. In addition to our success at Homestead-Miami, we posted increased event attendance at nearly all of our facilities during the quarter, which we believe is an indication of improving consumer spending trends.”
“We are looking forward to the start of the 2004 racing season and are very optimistic in our outlook for the coming year. We expect the NASCAR domestic broadcast television rights revenue increase of 21 percent to be the main driver of top-line growth. In addition, solid increases in corporate spending and attendance-related revenue for our events are expected to fuel growth,” said Kennedy.
“Several initiatives put in place in 2003 will also contribute to our success. The realigned NASCAR NEXTEL Cup weekend in California will result in incremental revenue and earnings for ISC, as well as increased exposure for our broadcast and marketing partners. In addition, Nextel’s title sponsorship is expected to increase consumer and corporate awareness of NASCAR racing, which will benefit all involved. Finally, we believe we are in an excellent strategic and financial position to move quickly to capitalize on external growth opportunities.”
The company reiterated full-year guidance for 2004 of total revenue between $615 and $635 million and earnings between $2.30 and $2.38 per diluted share. The company also reiterated guidance for the fiscal 2004 first quarter of total revenue between $140 and $145 million and earnings between $0.51 and $0.53 per diluted share.
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