Six Flags reports lower profit, guest spending

Six Flags Over Texas Skyscreamer ride. Six Flags reported a dip in second quarter profits.
Six Flags Over Texas Skyscreamer ride. Six Flags reported a dip in second quarter profits. Star-Telegram archives

Higher operating expenses pushed down second-quarter profits for regional theme park operator Six Flags Entertainment Corp.

Grand Prairie-based Six Flags Entertainment reported a profit of $65.5 million Wednesday, or 67 cents a diluted share, down 1 percent from $66.3 million, or 67 cents a diluted share, in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue increased to $386 million from $376.5 million.

The company attributed the higher revenue, in part, to a 32 percent increase in sales of season passes and memberships, or those guests who pay monthly, in the 12 months that ended June 30.

Jim Reid-Anderson, the chairman, president and CEO, said attendance at the 18 Six Flags parks in the U.S., Mexico and Canada was up 9 percent to 8.9 million guests from April to June because of new rides and attractions introduced this year, as well as increased use by season pass holders.

For the first six months, Six Flags’ parks have seen 10.4 million guests. Six Flags owns and operates Six Flags Over Texas and Hurricane Harbor in Arlington.

“Our innovative new attractions have received rave reviews, guest satisfaction scores remain at all-time highs, season pass and pricing initiatives are working well, and we are highly encouraged by the trends in our business,” he said. “With strong momentum across all of our parks and a 32 percent increase in our active pass base, we are very well-positioned as we head into the back half of the year.”

The earnings per share exceeded Wall Street expectations by 5 cents.

Shares of Six Flags (ticker: SIX) closed at $46.15, down 14 cents.

In the second quarter, total guest spending per person was $41.55, down $2.18, or 5 percent, from a year ago, the company said.

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727

Twitter: @SandraBakerFWST