Merrill Cuts International Speedway Outlook

Analyst Burke Koonce says heightened terrorism concerns and sagging consumer confidence are hurting this operator of motorsports facilities

Merrill Lynch cut its estimates on International Speedway (ISCA ).

Analyst Burke Koonce says International Speedway was hurt by unusually poor weather and economic softness. While weather played a major hand in the shortfall, admissions also were likely impacted by heightened terrorism concerns and sagging consumer confidence. He notes advance ticket sales are running slightly behind last year's levels, as seen in other segments of the leisure sector (particularly in cruising), as consumers seem to be waiting until the last minute to make leisure travel decisions. Koonce cut the 50 cents first quarter earnings per share estimate to 47 cents, cut the $2.15 2003 estimate to $2.10, and trimmed the $2.42 2004 estimate to $2.37. He is keeping his neutral rating.

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