Sunday, February 21, 2016

Heard On... Six Flags' Q4 2015 + Full Year Results Call

Just like we saw with Cedar Fair, Six Flags also had their 4th quarter and full 2015 year results announcement this past week.  And also just like Cedar Fair, Six Flags had another great year of financial results, posting the company's sixth straight year of record figures.  Six Flags' conference call as held this past week as well - here are some highlights.

• The 4th quarter of 2015 saw a 22% increase in attendance and an 18% increase in revenues.  Halloween and Christmas have been good to Six Flags, and the addition of the entire new Holiday in the Park event at Great Adventure was a big part of the gains.

• For all of 2015, total revenue was up $88 million to $1.26 billion - every park in the chain posted increased revenues over 2014.  Attendance was up 11% to 28.6 million.  Adjusted EBITDA was up 10% to $481 million.

• Holiday In The Park and Fright Fest are two events that have created huge gains for the company is the slower 4th quarter.  Or at least traditionally it was slow, now it's quite a profitable quarter for the company - 5 years ago the 4th quarter showed an EBITDA loss, this past year the quarter saw $62 million of EBITDA.  Holiday In The Park will be added to two parks in 2016, Six Flags America and Six Flags St. Louis, for a total of 9 parks holding the event.

• Six Flags' season pass and season membership program has continued to skyrocket in terms of numbers sold.  At the end of 2015 the number of active pass holders and members was up 26% over the prior year.  The huge attendance increase of 2.9 million in the year was in large part due to the pass and membership holders - in total they represented 56% of Six Flags' attendance in 2015.

• Six Flags spent $114 million on capital expenditures in 2015, which is in line with their typical spending of 9% of revenues on additions.

• Six Flags has signed two additional non-binding (meaning it could fall apart) letters of intent for Six Flags branded parks in two additional countries.  These deals are very profitable for Six Flags, the existing ones created $16 million in revenue in 2015 and $13 million in EBIDTA, that's an 81% margin on these projects.

• They will also now operate a previously closed water park in Mexico, located 50 miles from Six Flags Mexico.  Branded as Hurricane Harbor, the water park will see a capital expansion of between $15 and $18 million before it reopens in 2017.  This capital will be above the normal 9% of revenues amount.

Changes are being made to the executive leadership of the company.  Jim Reid-Anderson will be moving into the Executive Chairman position, with John Duffy becoming President and CEO.  Marshall Barber, who's been with Six Flags for 20 years, will become the CFO.  The changes were stated to allow for development and innovation within the organization, better corporate governance, and for Mr. Anderson to see his family a bit more.