Six Flags reports lower profit; CEO comments on accident

Posted Monday, Jul. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Six Flags Entertainment Corp.’s top executive said the Texas Giant roller coaster at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington will remain closed as the investigation into the death of a 52-year-old Dallas woman on the ride Friday night continues.

CEO Jim Reid-Anderson made the comment from the park this morning as Six Flags Entertainment Corp., parent company of Six Flags Over Texas, held its scheduled second-quarter earnings call with Wall Street analysts. The call is typically held in New York.

A press release about the earnings issued early in the morning did not mention the accident, but Reid-Anderson started the conference call in a somber tone saying it was being done “with heavy hearts.”

Reid-Anderson said executives spent “an extremely sad weekend” at the park “working through this tragic event.”

He said the ride will remain closed “until it is safe to ride.” Officials are investigating the cause of the accident, he said, and he had no additional information to share.

“We are providing the family support as best as we can,” Reid-Anderson said.

Despite the accident, Reid-Anderson said he was proud of the company’s financial results, pointing to increased revenues for the company’s 18 parks before taxes and other expenses. Still, profit for the three months ended June 30 fell to $47.3 million from $72.2 million a year ago, the company said.

“I am pleased with our record year-to-date financial performance, despite cooler temperatures and unprecedented levels of precipitation at our eastern and midwestern parks during the second quarter,” Reid-Anderson said.

But executives said bad weather on the East Coast and in the Midwest took its toll, executives said.

“It’s not the quarter we had all wished for because of the weather,” Reid-Anderson said.

Second-quarter revenue also fell to $363.7 million from $374 million in the second quarter of 2012.

Six Flags stock (ticker: SIX), which tumbled nearly 3 percent in early trading, recovered by late morning and was down 42 cents, or about 1 percent, at $35.43 about 11 a.m.

When asked about the possible financial impact the accident will have on the company and the park, Reid-Anderson said, “You know at this time we cannot comment on the financial impact. We would be speculating.”

The accident did not have an immediate impact on attendance at any of its parks, but executives said they expect to see a lag in attendance at least in the short term, and in particular at the Arlington park.

Reid-Anderson said executives would be able to comment on attendance impact in the third quarter earnings call.

During the call, John Duffey, Six Flags chief financial officer, said maintenance and safety was the company’s number one priority.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727 Twitter: @SandraBakerFWST

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?