From the press release:
Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and immersive entertainment, today announced results for its third quarter ended Sept. 25, 2022, and performance highlights through Oct. 30, 2022.
“We delivered another quarter of record financial results, despite continuing macroeconomic challenges, demonstrating the resilience of our business model and the significant progress we have made on our post-pandemic recovery initiatives,” said Cedar Fair President and CEO Richard A. Zimmerman. “We are poised to deliver the best year in Cedar Fair’s history, driven by solid demand trends and strong levels of guest spending. Our year-to-date performance highlights the value our guests place on visiting one of our parks and resort properties and validates the importance of our guest-centered investment strategy and commitment to delivering the most exciting and engaging experiences in the industry.”
2022 Third Quarter Highlights
- Net revenues totaled a record $843 million, an increase of 12%, or $90 million, from the third quarter of 2021. Compared to the third quarter of 2019, net revenues increased by $129 million, or 18%.
- Net income was $333 million, an increase of $185 million from the third quarter of 2021. Compared to the third quarter of 2019, net income increased by $143 million.
- Adjusted EBITDA totaled a record $362 million, an increase of $29 million from the third quarter of 2021. Compared to the third quarter of 2019, Adjusted EBITDA increased by $7 million, or 2%.
- Attendance totaled 12.3 million guests, an increase of 14%, or 1.5 million guests, from the third quarter of 2021. Attendance declined by 885,000 guests, or 7%, as compared to the third quarter of 2019.
- In-park per capita spending was $62.62, a 3% decline from the third quarter of 2021. Compared to the third quarter of 2019, in-park per capita spending increased 25%, driven by double-digit percentage increases across all key revenue categories.
- Out-of-park revenues were a record $97 million, representing a 17%, or $14 million, increase from the third quarter of 2021. Compared to the third quarter of 2019, out-of-park revenues increased by $21 million, or 27%.
2022 First 10 Months Highlights
- For the 10-month period ended Oct. 30, 2022, preliminary net revenues totaled a record $1.68 billion, an increase of $473 million, or 39%, from the comparable 10-month period in 2021. Compared to the 10-month period ended Nov. 3, 2019, net revenues increased by $306 million, or 22%.
- Attendance for the first 10 months of 2022 totaled 24.9 million guests, an increase of 43%, or 7.5 million guests, from the comparable period in 2021. Attendance for the 10-month period trailed the comparable period in 2019 by 0.9 million guests, or 4%.
- In-park per capita spending for the most recent 10 months was $61.72, down 2% from the comparable 10-month period in 2021. Compared to the first 10 months of 2019, in-park per capita spending increased 27%.
- Out-of-park revenues for the first 10 months of 2022 were a record $195 million, a 28%, or $42 million, increase from the comparable period in 2021. Compared to same 10-month period in 2019, out-of-park revenues increased by $40 million, or 26%.
Balance Sheet and Capital Allocation Highlights
- During the third quarter of 2022, the Company fully repaid its term loan, reducing total outstanding debt at Sept. 25, 2022, to $2.3 billion.
- As of Sept. 25, 2022, the Company’s total net leverage on a trailing 12-month basis was 3.7x Adjusted EBITDA.
- As previously announced on August 3, 2022, the Cedar Fair Board of Directors approved an updated capital allocation strategy, highlighted by the declaration of a cash distribution of $0.30 per limited partner (LP) unit in the third quarter. Cedar Fair will pay another $0.30 per LP unit cash distribution to unitholders in the fourth quarter of 2022.
- The Board also authorized a $250 million unit repurchase program. From August 15, 2022, through October 31, 2022, the Company repurchased approximately 2.8 million limited partnership units at a total cost of approximately $115 million.
“Our popular fall events once again produced some of our highest attendance and most profitable days of the year, resulting in record performance through the first 10 months of the year,” continued Zimmerman. “Our record performance year to date has generated significant free cash flow that has allowed us to successfully execute against our capital allocation priorities of reducing debt and returning capital to unitholders. This includes paying off the remaining balance of Cedar Fair’s term loan during the third quarter and reducing leverage back in line with pre-pandemic levels, despite being barely a year removed from the disruption of the pandemic. We also declared another quarterly cash distribution and repurchased close to 5% of Cedar Fair’s outstanding units through our repurchase program to date. The acceleration of capital returns to unitholders underscores the Board’s confidence in our business and optimism regarding the Company’s near- and long-term prospects.”
Zimmerman concluded, “While we are pleased with our record performance to date, we have more to accomplish as we move on from the pandemic and capitalize on the significant growth opportunities we see ahead. We are confident that Cedar Fair has the right team and the mix of initiatives in place to return our parks to pre-pandemic attendance levels in the short term, while continuing to drive higher revenue levels. Long term, we remain committed to delivering value creation through a balanced approach of investing in our business, maintaining a strong balance sheet, and returning capital to unitholders through quarterly cash distributions and opportunistically repurchasing units on the open market.”
Results of 2022 Third Quarter Compared to 2021 Third Quarter
Operating days in the third quarter of 2022 totaled 1,088, compared to 988 in the third quarter of 2021.
For the third quarter ended Sept. 25, 2022, net revenues totaled $843 million versus $753 million for the third quarter of 2021. The increase in net revenues was largely attributable to a 100 operating day increase in the period, resulting in a 1.5 million visit gain in attendance and a 17%, or $14 million, increase in out-of-park revenues. The increase in out-of-park revenues reflects incremental third quarter revenues at Castaway Bay and Sawmill Creek Resort, two resort properties that were closed for renovations during the 2021 third quarter, as well as higher occupancy rates and average daily rates across much of our resort portfolio. In-park per capita spending in the 2022 third quarter totaled $62.62, down 3% compared with $64.26 in the 2021 third quarter. The decline in in-park per capita was due primarily to lower levels of guest spending on extra-charge products and lower levels of guest spending on admissions driven by a higher season pass mix.
Operating costs and expenses in the third quarter of 2022 totaled $485 million, compared with $424 million for the third quarter of 2021. The majority of the $61 million increase was the result of prior-period operating restrictions and the 100 operating-day increase in the current period. Additionally, the increase in operating costs and expenses reflects an increase in full-time wages primarily related to a planned increase in headcount at select parks, an increase in maintenance labor rates, and incremental land lease and property tax costs associated with the sale-leaseback of the land at California’s Great America. Depreciation and amortization expense totaled $68 million in the third quarter of 2022, down $10 million from a year ago due to a lower percentage of total planned operating days in the current quarter. The Company recognized a $155 million gain on the sale of the land at California’s Great America during the third quarter of 2022. Including the items noted above, the Company’s operating income for the third quarter of 2022 totaled $442 million, compared with operating income of $250 million in the third quarter of 2021.
Interest expense for the third quarter totaled $37 million, down $9 million from the third quarter of 2021. The decrease in interest expense was primarily due to the early redemption of the 2024 senior notes in December 2021. The net effect of the Company’s swaps resulted in a $4 million benefit to earnings during the third quarter of 2022, compared with a $3 million benefit to earnings in the same period a year ago. The difference reflects the change in fair market value movement in the Company’s swap portfolio. During the quarter, the Company terminated its interest rate swap agreements following the full repayment of its senior secured term loan facility, resulting in a $5 million cash receipt, net of fees. In addition, the Company recognized a $2 million loss on early debt extinguishment upon full repayment of its senior secured term loan facility during the third quarter of 2022. During the period, the Company also recognized a $14 million net charge to earnings for foreign currency gains and losses related to the remeasurement of U.S. dollar-denominated debt to its Canadian entity’s functional currency, compared with a $15 million net charge to earnings for the comparable period in 2021.
For the 2021 third quarter, a $61 million provision for taxes was recorded to account for publicly traded partnership taxes and federal, state, local and foreign income taxes, compared to a $44 million provision for taxes in the third quarter of 2021. The difference in provision for taxes in the current-year period was due to an increase in pretax income from the Company’s taxable subsidiaries versus the comparable prior-year period.
Accounting for the items above, net income for the third quarter totaled $333 million, or $5.86 per diluted L.P. unit. This compares with net income of $148 million, or $2.60 per diluted LP unit, for the 2021 third quarter.
Adjusted EBITDA, which management believes is a meaningful measure of the Company’s park-level operating results, totaled $362 million in the third quarter, compared to Adjusted EBITDA of $333 million for the third quarter of 2021. The $29 million increase in Adjusted EBITDA was primarily due to prior-period operating restrictions, the 100 operating-day increase in the current period and the related improvement in attendance, offset in part by an increase in expenses incurred, particularly for labor and cost of goods sold.
Results of 2022 Third Quarter Compared to 2019 Third Quarter
Due to continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on 2021 third-quarter operations, particularly at Canada’s Wonderland, the Company’s park near Toronto, Cedar Fair also included a comparison of its current period results with the three months ended September 29, 2019. During the third quarter of 2022, the Company’s parks had 1,088 total operating days compared with 1,035 total operating days in the third quarter of 2019.
In the third quarter of 2022, the Company entertained 12.3 million guests and generated net revenues of $843 million, representing an 18%, or $129 million, increase compared to the third quarter of 2019. The increase in net revenues was the result of a 25%, or $12.68, increase in in-park per capita spending, and a 27%, or $21 million, increase in out-of-park revenues. These increases were partially offset by the impact of a 7%, or 0.9 million-visit, decline in attendance. The increase in in-park per capita spending was driven by higher levels of guest spending across all key revenue categories, particularly on admissions and food and beverage. The increase in food and beverage spend was due to both higher pricing and increased transaction volume. The increase in out-of-park revenues was primarily attributable to strong occupancy and average daily rates across much of the Company’s resort portfolio and an increase in online customer transaction fees charged to customers. The decline in attendance was driven by an expected slower recovery in group sales attendance, the planned reduction of low-value ticket programs, and a decrease in single-day attendance during the period.
Operating costs and expenses in the third quarter increased to $485 million, compared with $369 million for the third quarter of 2019. The $115 million increase reflects the impact of rising operating costs, particularly labor and cost of goods sold, an increase in full-time wages primarily related to a planned increase in head count at select parks, and incremental land lease and property tax costs associated with the sale-leaseback of the land at California’s Great America. These increases were offset in part by a decline in advertising costs driven by a more efficient marketing program. The Company recognized a $155 million gain on the sale of the land at California’s Great America during the third quarter of 2022.
For the third quarter, operating income totaled $442 million, up $167 million, or 61%, compared to the 2019 third quarter. Net income for the third quarter totaled $333 million, or $5.86 per diluted L.P. unit, which compares with net income of $190 million, or $3.34 per diluted LP unit, for the 2019 third quarter.
Adjusted EBITDA totaled $362 million in the current third quarter, compared with $355 million for the third quarter of 2019. The $7 million increase in Adjusted EBITDA reflects higher net revenues in the current period attributable to higher in-park per capita spending and increased out-of-park revenues, which were somewhat offset by increased costs in the current period, particularly labor costs.
2022 First 10 Months Compared To 2019 First 10 Months
Given the material impact the coronavirus pandemic had on park operations in 2020 and 2021, the Company has provided a comparison of its preliminary financial results for the 10 months ended Oct. 30, 2022, compared with the 10 months ended Nov. 3, 2019.
For the 10-month period ended Oct. 30, 2022, the Company entertained 24.9 million guests, representing a decrease of 4%, or 0.9 million visits, and generated preliminary net revenues of $1.68 billion, representing an increase of 22%, or $306 million, compared to the 10-month period ended Nov. 3, 2019. Over this same period, in-park per capita spending was $61.72, up 27% from 2019 levels, and out-of-park revenues totaled $195 million, up $40 million, or 26%, from the same period in 2019. Operating days for the 10-month periods in 2022 and 2019, totaled 2,103 days and 2,028 days, respectively. This included 13 fewer operating days at the Company’s legacy parks during the current 10-month period versus the comparable 10-month period in 2019, due to the planned removal of early-season 2022 operating days at several of the Company’s parks.
Balance Sheet and Liquidity Update
Deferred revenues as of Sept. 25, 2022, totaled $188 million, compared to $211 million of deferred revenues at Sept. 26, 2021. Included in the prior-period balance was approximately $30 million of deferred revenue carryover related to the extension of 2020 and 2021 season passes into 2022 at Knott’s Berry Farm and Canada’s Wonderland due to pandemic-related park closures in their respective markets. Excluding the carryover, deferred revenues at the end of the 2022 third quarter would have been up approximately $7 million, or 4%, from the balance at the end of the third quarter of 2021.
As of Sept. 25, 2022, the Company had cash on hand of $288 million and $280 million available under its revolving credit facility, for total liquidity of $568 million. This compares to $319 million of total liquidity at the end of the second quarter of 2022.
During the third quarter of 2022, the Company fully repaid its term loan, reducing total debt outstanding as of Sept. 25, 2022, to $2.3 billion. As of Sept. 25, 2022, the Company’s total net leverage measured on a trailing-12-month basis was 3.7x Adjusted EBITDA.
The Company repurchased approximately 2.8 million limited partner units, or close to 5% of its outstanding units, at a total cost of approximately $115 million from August 15, 2022, through October 31, 2022, under its unit repurchase authorization.
The Company also announced today the declaration of a quarterly cash distribution of $0.30 per LP unit, to be paid on Dec. 15, 2022, to unitholders of record on Dec. 1, 2022.
I guess this is what coming out of the pandemic swinging looks like. The per cap spending is insane. They did call out my bigger concern though, when comparing to last year:
The decline in in-park per capita was due primarily to lower levels of guest spending on extra-charge products and lower levels of guest spending on admissions driven by a higher season pass mix.
Hopefully that's just a scratch and not a serious injury. Comparing to 2021 in the quarter is pretty reasonable. I still think they charge too little to get in. If they're not spending as much on up-charges, what changed? Less pent-up demand? Less perceived value?
I know it sounds silly, but at least as far as Cedar Point is concerned, could the recent lackluster operations and laughable weather policies give a poor experience to enough guests to make a dent in numbers?
I was contemplating that... I wish I knew. I don't know if that phenomenon is company wide either.
From what I have heard from friends who have visited other parks in 2021/2022, the "two drops of rain will close all the coasters" phenomenon is limited only to Cedar Point and Knotts, but slow dispatches are becoming the norm everywhere except Kings Island, which has become the top park for operations in the chain.
If they're not spending as much on up-charges, what changed? Less pent-up demand? Less perceived value?
one thing they mentioned effecting the lower up-charges was that the dynamic pricing lowered attendance on previous high attendance days thus reducing the purchases of Fast-Lane.
Record annual revenue predicted after a really strong quarter. I guess that's why that analyst *downgraded* FUN the other day?
--Dave Althoff, Jr.
/X\ _ *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
That doesn't necessarily mean they don't think it will succeed, they might just feel the units are over-priced. But still, they're likely latching on to lower per cap compared to last year and lower attendance compared to 2019. I get that concern, those things together don't feel great. With revenue up so far, more than compensating, I wouldn't worry yet. If the pattern repeats year after year and revenue reverses direction, then I would be worried.
The downgrade may also take into account the majority of people have shrinking income due to price increases and unnecessary expenses like theme parks will be eventually cut from peoples spending. Discretionary spending cannot continue when wages don’t match price increases.
it is also worth pointing out again that EBITDA only increased by 2% since 2019. It doesn’t matter if revenue increase by 2000% if the bottom line is not increasing that much as well. Inflation since 2019 Has been much more than 2% so in reality this is no record when does factored in.
The current dividend is only about 1/3 of what it was in 2019 While stronger companies like Exxon managed to keep their dividend all throughout 2020 without reducing it
These financial Press releases really are propaganda that don’t point out all the facts
Its often about expectations. You can have record revenue (or profits) but if the expectations were for even higher revenue (or profits), analysts often downgrade. If reference is to Ben Chaiken from Credit Suisse, he seems more focused on costs (and as a result margins) rather than revenues. He asked questions about that on yesterday's earnings call.
Transcript of earnings call:
"The economy" and how it affects consumer spending is an interesting topic. It's not really "bad" regardless of the political bogeyman it's made out to be. Labor market still vastly favors workers, retail spending is still very good, auto sales are insane, wages are still growing, if somewhat slower. All of these things are feeding inflation, some of those indicators are trending down, along with GDP for two first two quarters quarters, and that's a bummer, but it doesn't feel like 2008 or 2001. In fact GDP is back up in the third quarter by way of higher consumer spending and exports. Economists don't seem able to agree on where we actually are.
So regardless of the effective performance of the company, folks sure are spending a lot of money with them.
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