Churchill Downs (CHDN) Lifted to “Buy” at Jefferies Financial Group

Jefferies Financial Group upgraded shares of Churchill Downs (NASDAQ:CHDN) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Friday morning, Marketbeat reports. The brokerage currently has $306.00 price objective on the stock.

CHDN has been the topic of several other research reports. ValuEngine raised Churchill Downs from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, October 12th. BidaskClub raised Churchill Downs from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, November 22nd. Zacks Investment Research raised Churchill Downs from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, November 8th. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group decreased their target price on Churchill Downs from $290.00 to $280.00 and set a market perform rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, November 14th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $297.00.

Shares of Churchill Downs stock traded up $5.77 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $264.32. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 137,067 shares, compared to its average volume of 126,408. Churchill Downs has a twelve month low of $223.73 and a twelve month high of $314.60. The firm has a market cap of $3.46 billion, a PE ratio of 44.95, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.93 and a beta of 1.15. The company has a quick ratio of 1.09, a current ratio of 1.09 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.71.

Churchill Downs shares are scheduled to split on Monday, January 28th. The 3-1 split was announced on Wednesday, October 31st. The newly issued shares will be distributed to shareholders after the market closes on Friday, January 25th.

Churchill Downs (NASDAQ:CHDN) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, October 31st. The company reported $1.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.48 by ($0.43). Churchill Downs had a return on equity of 30.33% and a net margin of 39.18%. The firm had revenue of $221.30 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $208.87 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.08 EPS. Churchill Downs’s revenue was up 12.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities analysts expect that Churchill Downs will post 10.82 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced an annual dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 4th. Investors of record on Friday, December 7th were paid a dividend of $1.63 per share. This is a positive change from Churchill Downs’s previous annual dividend of $1.52. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 6th. This represents a yield of 0.6%. Churchill Downs’s dividend payout ratio is presently 27.72%.

In related news, Director Richard L. Duchossois purchased 3,700 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 6th. The shares were bought at an average price of $271.47 per share, for a total transaction of $1,004,439.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 12,137 shares in the company, valued at $3,294,831.39. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Richard L. Duchossois purchased 1,900 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 9th. The shares were bought at an average price of $265.83 per share, for a total transaction of $505,077.00. Following the acquisition, the director now owns 8,550 shares in the company, valued at $2,272,846.50. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have purchased 7,650 shares of company stock worth $2,037,236. 13.78% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Macquarie Group Ltd. purchased a new stake in Churchill Downs during the 2nd quarter worth about $119,000. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. purchased a new stake in Churchill Downs during the 3rd quarter worth about $143,000. Private Advisor Group LLC purchased a new stake in Churchill Downs during the 3rd quarter worth about $202,000. Brown Advisory Inc. purchased a new stake in Churchill Downs during the 2nd quarter worth about $205,000. Finally, Parametrica Management Ltd purchased a new stake in Churchill Downs during the 3rd quarter worth about $244,000. Institutional investors own 70.42% of the company’s stock.

About Churchill Downs

Churchill Downs Incorporated operates as a racing, gaming, and online entertainment company in the United States. It operates through Racing, Casinos, TwinSpires, and Other Investments segments. The company operates 4 racetracks, including Churchill Downs Racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky; Arlington International Race Course in Arlington Heights with 11 off-track betting (OTB) facilities in Illinois; Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans along with 12 OTBs in Louisiana; and Calder Race Course in Miami Gardens, Florida.

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