Sunday, July 26, 2015

Heard On... Six Flags and Comcast Q2 2015 Earnings Calls

Six Flags released another record quarter for the end of June, 2015, at least in terms of revenues - however not in actual earnings.  The company had its usual conference call and while there isn't any big news, here are some notes:

• Revenue for the second quarter grew $10 million and attendance grew 9% to 8.9 million visitors.

• The park's active season pass and membership base has exploded, up 32% over 2014.  This is a huge part of the 9% increase in attendance for the quarter.

• The season pass and memberships have hurt per caps; down 5% during the quarter ($2.18).  Admission per caps decreased 7% and in-park spending was down 2%.

• Six Flags recognized $10 million in revenue for the parks under development in Dubai and China - they hope to be able to talk about those deals in more detail soon, and announce new ones.

• The chain is seeing a very high percentage of season pass holders move on to being members at the end of the first year - creating a trend of increased visitation.

• All-season dining passes have been a "home run" for Six Flags, and they plan to continue to focus on them in the future - also working on the retail side of things.

NBCUniversal, a part of Comcast, also held a call detailing the earnings and results for the Universal theme parks located in the U.S. for the 2nd quarter of 2015.  Since the parks are a small part of a gigantic company, they don't spend a ton of time on them but things certainly seem to be going well.

• The second quarter was another for the record books as the theme parks saw a 25.7% increase in revenue to $773 million, and operating cash flow increase 44.9% to $354 million.

• The massive growth is due to Diagon Alley and the continued success of the Orlando property, which has created double digit increased in two-park tickets at the resort and record per cap spending.

• At Universal Studios Hollywood the new Fast and Furious Supercharged attraction on the Studio Tour has led to double digit attendance growth at the park already.

• The company pointed out that five years ago they made about $400 million from theme parks, and this year will probably be that plus about one billion dollars.  Yes, billion.

•  The theme park segment is seen as a "major growth driver" for the company for up to the next 20 years - so expect the massive trend of expansion at the parks to (happily) continue.  They still want to have at least one major new attraction at each of the U.S. parks each year.

• The Orlando resort grew attendance 21% during the quarter - a huge increase.

• NBCUniversal is still "excited" about growing in the rest of the world, including China and "other parts of the world" that they haven't talked about yet.