07/24/2001 11:00PM

Churchill has record quarter


Churchill Downs Inc. reported record quarterly revenues for its second quarter ended on June 30.

Net revenues were a record $163.3 million, a jump of 24 percent over the same period last year. Net earnings were a record $21.9 million, a 20 percent increase over 2000.

Tom Meeker, Churchill's president and chief executive officer, attributed the company's record gains in part to good business at Arlington Park, which Churchill acquired last year. Arlington's 2001 meet opened on June 13.

Meeker also credited the eight additional days of racing at Hollywood Park, the company's California track, during this year's second quarter. Usually, those days are conducted in the third quarter.

"The strong start for Arlington's Park's 2001 meet offers encouraging support to our prospects for the second half," Meeker said in a Churchill Downs press release. "Our third quarter results will benefit from the inclusion of Arlington Park for a full three months this year; but because of the increased number of shares outstanding, we expect earnings per share for the period will range from 55 cents to 57 cents."

The 33 percent increase in the number of average shares, from 9.9 million to 13.2 million, dropped the earnings per share to $1.66, compared to $1.85 during last year's second quarter.

Churchill Downs reported the upswing in the number of average shares was primarily because of the issuance of 3.15 million common shares in connection with the Arlington Park merger last September.

Churchill Downs also owns Calder, Hoosier Park, and Ellis Park.