Shares of International Speedway (NASDAQ:ISCA) fell more than 6% Thursday after the racetrack operator said recession-related factors caused attendance to tumble, leading to weaker third-quarter earnings than expected.
The motorsports-themed entertainer, including stock car, sports car and motorcycle racing events, posted net income of $3.6 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with $4.4 million, or 9 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.
Revenue for the Dayton Beach, Florida-based company was $160.2 million, compared with $172.9 million a year ago.
The results widely missed average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters 28 cents in earnings and $163.78 million in revenue.
ISC CEO Lesa France Kennedy said increased contracted television and media rights have helped to mitigate recessionary headwinds that have affected attendance-related revenues, as has the company’s tighter grip on expenses.
But positive factors have been offset by a still challenging operating environment.
In an effort to increase attendance amid the still downtrodden economy, ISC, which owns Daytona International Speedway, has continued to promote cheaper ticket prices across its operations, including NASCAR.
“We believe our current pricing levels are on target with demand and provide sufficient price points for all income levels,” she said. “As our efforts gain broader attention in the marketplace, coupled with improvement in the economic landscape, we believe we will see an increase in ticket sales volume.”
In a long-term effort to improve earnings, the company plans to start a new initiative next year where it will seek cutting annual operating expenses by an additional $20 million to $30 million.