Even at $2.56 a share, it's still considered not a good buy. I myself am considering purchasing some shares at this price. Even if it does dip down further, I can just sit on it and wait for it to grow. This is a huge amusement park company that can only go up at this point and it's going to take longer then 3 years to turn it around like Shapiro said.
It's under two bucks today, though it looks like much of the market is getting beat up so far with unemployment stats being unfavorable.
The risk at this point is proportional to how much money you throw at it. To me, putting a couple hundred bucks into it wouldn't be that big of a deal. I think they've got at least a 50/50 chance of turning it around in the long term. That's better than Vegas odds. :)
the whole chain is still pretty pathetic. I am not surprised people have no faith to take stock in this company since they need to focus on entertaining customers enough and delivering quality experiences to not realize they are being extorted by overpricing - that is what Disney and Universal have figured out. There are signs they are trying to move in that direction, however it all begins and ends with their employees - no matter how much you spend in marketing and new attractions, if your employees hate what they're doing they are transferring that to their customers. They need to focus on employee training and satisfaction, even if that means paying well above min. wage to make them happier - again something their successful competitors have figured out (at least in terms of training since some may very well pay min. wage). Selective hiring would also help, which would be easier if they paid more and gave better benefits
I've been following Six Flags stock rather closely this last year. It is trading at its 52-week lows and is tempting given that it is so cheap. The big question, as has been pointed out, is if Shapiro can turn the company around without filing for bankruptcy protection. Given Six Flags large debt load, I'm afraid bankruptcy protection will be necessary to restructure their debt. In that case, the current stock holders will lose their entire investment. If you think Shapiro can pull this out without bankruptcy, then buying SIX stock now could yield tremendous gains given current prices. It's tempting. Personally, I see Six Flags filing for bankruptcy within the next 18-months, but this will give them a chance to restructure the company and it will survive in the long-term. But hell, what do I know?
Are they really headed toward bankruptcy though with untouched credit resources? People bring up debt all of the time, but debt is only a life threatening problem when you can't pay it back (or at least pay on the interest).
That's the big question that nobody knows for sure. Right now SIX is trading at $1.92. If Shapiro can pull out a comeback without bankruptcy, the upside is tremendous. I think his long-term plan for the company is a good one. The problem is if he can do it in time. At current prices, it's tempting to throw a few hundred bucks at SIX stock just for fun. 2008 will be an interesting year for SF.
Welcome to 2008 and nothing changes with Shapiro and Six Flags. You can bet on bankruptcy it's the only hope left. Shapiro has learned nothing, just reading local park fan sites, people hate him. People are worried about the future of their respective parks. Myself, I can't wait either he learns what drives this business, or he will bail. Talking with friends we believe Cedar Fair already has plans for Gurnee. That would spell total MidWest domination for them. Laugh, call me a dick, because in the end I'll have the last laugh. But honestly all I want is what Cedar Fair brings to the table. If they owned the Gurnee property, the 320' height limit would be perfect for a Millennium Force Coaster. Speaking with Cedar Fair People they know what a cash cow Gurnee was. They also wonder why it's been neglected. It's 2008 new beginnings, be patient the change is in the air.
Please understand I don't expect Cedar Fair to buy Six Flags. I however, expect Six Flags to be sold off in pieces. Cedar fair already runs California's Great America. They know what Gurnee has brought to the table, even before Six flags owned them. I expect soon in Illinois Cedar Fair will buy and operate Great America, as just Great America. I don't feel St. Louis or Kentucy Kingdom are on their radar. Now The parks in Texas would be a steal. Shapiro is smart and selling a few of his parks, like he just did, will bring in a higher profit. Really I can't see anyone wanting to take on the debt load of Corporate Six Flags. In a few years Six Flags may be a name in the past in many markets. Judging on how well former Six Flags properties are doing, this would be a good thing. However don't put it past Shapiro to sell the land for it's housing value. Of course bankruptcy and reorganization is also possible. Be ready people there is a change in the wind. Let's just hope it's a warm front, not a full blown tornado.
Ronman, if Six Flags sells its bigger parks in pieces -- as it did last year -- it would go a long way to wiping out its debt load. The smaller sale didn't make a dent on the balance sheet.
Six Flags is in trouble, but the sector is also smarting lately. Cedar Fair is still profitable, though its units are trading at levels last seen 5-6 years ago (even adjusted for the distributions, you're talking a nearly five year low).
2008 is supposed to be THE year. The third year in the three-year turnaround plan for Six Flags under Shapiro. The third year in the Paramount Parks acquistion for Cedar Fair that was supposed to be accretive by Year Three. The market thinks that neither company is going to live up to its original expectations. The consequences for missing are more dire for Six Flags, of course.
Ronman, I think you and BatwingFanSFA must be related, because you both like to play broken records over and over again. I don't think a 320 ft. coaster is what's needed to bring people to Gurnee. Look at Maverick--it's not big by any stretch of the imagination.
If rumors are true, we could see some more Dive coasters in 2009, but not at Busch-owned parks.
I don't see how selling any more parks would be good for business, and Cedar Fair is in over their heads with the Paramount acquisition for the time being. For Cedar Fair, the renaming of rides (meaning you'll need all new merchandise), having to redo the Paramount signs (that can't be cheap), having to come up with new front and back ends for the former Italian Job Rides all adds up.
I honestly don't know if we'd see too many "new" rides this year without the loss of Geauga Lake. And even that costs a lot of money in terms of tearing down rides at one location and relocating them to another location. Do you think the Dominator rebuild is going to be easy? Hell no.
Besides tearing up the parking lot as Rablat5 just supplied, they're going to need a lot of new footers I'm guessing due to the finale of the ride which took place mostly in a marshy area. I'm sure a new station will be needed as well. Then you throw in the repainting of the track and trains, and things really add up.
I don't see them having Dominator anywhere near ready by opening day (which is 74 days away), but it should bring a big gate increase--probably the biggest since V:TBC or Anaconda.
Put some money in. It's pretty cheap right now. Sure it can lower. It can also go higher. Odds are pretty spot on for the long term. The sector is struggling right now, so when the sector moves up, so will SIX. Just don't drop more into it than you're willing to lose flat out, as that's always a possibility. Always.