Six Flags Entertainment Corp. reported a $70.3 million loss for the first quarter Wednesday despite a 16 percent increase in revenue during what is typically the slowest time at its theme parks.
The loss, which equated to 75 cents a share, compares with a loss of $61.2 million, or 64 cents a share, a year earlier. The average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of 69 cents per share. In the quarter, the company paid $22.3 million in incentives to executives, up 320 percent from $5.3 million a year ago.
Jim Reid-Anderson, Six Flags’ president and CEO, told Wall Street analysts that the company is well-positioned to enter the busiest part of the amusement park season and that its parks have the best lineup of new rides in company history.
“We are truly rocking,” Reid-Anderson said. “We have seen in the first quarter a very positive response to our offerings.”
Revenue for the first three months of 2015 totaled $85.1 million, up 16 percent from $73.7 million in the first quarter of 2014. The increase was due primarily to higher sales of season and membership passes. The number of passes sold in the past year grew 53 percent, the company said.
Revenue from admissions was $40.5 million for the period ending March 31, compared with $34.7 million last year. Park attendance increased 13 percent to 1.6 million guests in the quarter, the company said. Most parks are not open in the first quarter.
The company operates Six Flags Over Texas and Hurricane Harbor in Arlington, among 18 parks in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Six Flags Mexico represented a higher percentage of revenue in the first quarter, the company said.
Six Flags shares (ticker: SIX) closed up $1.37 at $49.97.
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727