Moody's uprates ISC stock

Moody's Investors Service, the Wall Street credit rating agency, asserted that International Speedway Corporation management would be "an opportunistic player" in acquiring additional speedway properties should any with NASCAR sanctioned events come on the market. On Friday Moody's upgraded its ratings outlook for ISC from 'stable' to 'positive'

Moody's uprates ISC stock

Moody's also affirmed NASDAQ-listed ISC's 'Baa3' ratings to reflect, it said: (1) ISC's extremely strong market position in the fast-growing motorsport industry; (2) proven resilience of revenues despite recent economic weakness, helped by significant and growing contractually obligated revenues such as broadcast rights fees; (3) ability to generate solid operating cash flow and significant conversion to free cash flow; (4) strong balance sheet including low leverage levels; (5) pristine liquidity; and (6) a longstanding strong management group.

The US stock car racing industry is dominated by the NASCAR sanctioning body, founded and still 100 percent owned by the France family. The family also maintains an approximately 35 percent equity share and a 60 percent voting share in ISC.

Moody's believes that, while NASCAR and ISC maintain an arms-length separation to avoid natural conflicts of interest, the France family ownership interests "likely means that the strategies for both are aligned." This should provide ISC with the stability necessary to focus and grow its business.

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