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Churchill earnings up on Kentucky Derby week; Big Fish flops

Churchill Downs Inc., reported Wednesday that second quarter net revenue was up thanks to a strong Kentucky Derby week. In this photo is Always Dreaming with John R. Velazquez up winner of the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs May 6, 2017.
Churchill Downs Inc., reported Wednesday that second quarter net revenue was up thanks to a strong Kentucky Derby week. In this photo is Always Dreaming with John R. Velazquez up winner of the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs May 6, 2017.

Second quarter net revenue was up for Churchill Downs Inc., headquartered in Louisville, thanks to a strong Kentucky Derby week, more players on TwinSpires and gains at the racetrack company’s casinos even as its Big Fish online games division took a dive.

After the close of the market on Wednesday, Churchill reported second quarter profits of $78.3 million, up 12 percent or $4.81 per diluted share, up 17 percent from the same quarter of last year. For the first six months of the year, Churchill reported profits of $85.6 million, up 17.9 percent, or $5.18 per diluted share, up 21.3 percent from the same period of last year.

Churchill attributed the quarterly net revenue gains of $13.4 million to a $12.1 million increase from its TwinSpires advance-deposit wagering platform, a $9.2 million increase in racing (thanks to a good Kentucky Derby week), and a $3.9 million increase from its casinos. Partially offsetting these increases, according to Churchill, was a $12.6 million decrease in in-game purchases from Big Fish Games.

While Big Fish Games has become the biggest revenue-generating division of the company, recent quarters have shown growth flattening out.

Churchill Downs Inc. executives will discuss the results in a conference call with analysts Thursday at 9 a.m. that can be listened to at ir.churchilldownsincorporated.com/events.cfm.

Churchill also announced late Wednesday that Douglas C. Grissom, a managing director for Madison Dearborn Partners, has been appointed to the board for a term that will expire in 2020.

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