04/28/2016 6:14PM

Churchill Downs Inc. shows slight first-quarter profit


Churchill Downs Inc. had a slight profit in the first quarter of 2016, reversing a slight loss that the company posted in the first quarter of last year, according to financial documents released late on Thursday.

Net income for the quarter was $2.8 million, on revenue of $288.4 million, up from first-quarter results in 2015 of a loss of $1.9 million on revenues of $250.9 million. Churchill’s racing operations posted higher expenses than revenues, but its other segments, including its account-wagering operations, its casinos, and its social-gaming company, posted positive results on a direct comparison of net revenue and operating expenses, according to the documents.

Revenue for the quarter was up $37.5 million, with the majority of that gain coming from Big Fish, the social-gaming company that Churchill bought in 2014 for a price that could reach $1 billion. Revenue for Big Fish was $122.1 million in the quarter, up $30.2 million. Operating expense for Big Fish in the quarter was $109.4 million, not counting “research and development” costs of $10.8 million. Churchill officials have stated the research and development costs are wholly related to Big Fish.

Racing revenue was down slightly, from $36.2 million in the first quarter last year to $35.6 million this year. During the quarter, only one Churchill track, Fair Grounds, operated live.

Revenue from twinspires.com, Churchill’s account-wagering company, was $34.6 million, up $2 million when compared with the first-quarter last year. In a release accompanying the financial statements, Churchill said that betting through twinspires.com was up 10.6 percent in the quarter.

Casino revenue in the quarter was $61.0 million, flat when compared with revenue of $61.1 million last year.