Churchill Downs Inc. enters Kentucky Derby week setting records

IMG_6254Churchill Downs Inc. enters its highest profile week on the heels of a record-setting day on April 26 for the Louisville-based company’s stock.

The casino, gaming and racing company best known as the owner of the Kentucky Derby closed at $172 per share, above $170 at the final bell for the first time. It’s intraday high of $173.25 also was a company record.

Separately, the company reported its financial results for the first three months of 2017 after the market’s close. Net income for the quarter grew to $7.3 million from $2.8 million a year ago.

Adjusted earnings before taxes and other factors improved to $57.3 million from $46.7 million a year ago, thanks primarily to the company’s Big Fish Games division.

The quarter is not one of Churchill’s best for racing — that segment saw adjusted earnings fall to a $9.7 million loss from a $7.4 million decline the year before. The company attributed $1.5 million of that to the equine herpes outbreak at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots that reduced field sizes. Churchill also said the racing financial performance was hurt by the Fair Grounds’ signature Derby prep falling in April as opposed to March.

The 143rd Kentucky Derby is set for May 6.

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