Six Flags profit up 44% for 3Q despite lower attendance

Posted Friday, October 28, 2011 1:07 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Despite lower attendance at Six Flags parks in the third quarter of 2011, profits jumped significantly for the amusement park company. Six Flags Entertainment Corp. on Thursday reported net earnings of $192.9 million in the quarter, which ended Sept. 30. That's up 44 percent from last year's $133.5 million. Earnings per share were $3.43.

Read more from The Post Star.

Friday, October 28, 2011 1:16 PM

"Officials attributed Six Flags' improved profitability... to a "laser focus" on pricing, new attractions, more targeted regional marketing, and expense controls"

I'm trying to read into this as much as possible. Obviously the "new attractions" is just fluff, but I'm wondering what they did with pricing/expenses this year that caused profits to soar.

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Friday, October 28, 2011 2:28 PM

If the quarter didn't end on September 30th, I would've attributed it to record-high pricing on halloween attractions in combination with less actors.

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Friday, October 28, 2011 5:10 PM

"Officials attributed Six Flags' improved profitability... to a "laser focus" on pricing, new attractions, more targeted regional marketing, and expense controls"

Expense controls = less employee's, less open rides,less open hours

Pricing =charging for parking at non home park(how many people a quarter go to two parks)

I think two factors not mentioned may have more to do with it than those mentioned

Good weather and people that can't afford to go to destinations (Las Vegas,Orlando, ect.)

Last edited by kevin38, Friday, October 28, 2011 5:11 PM
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Friday, October 28, 2011 5:49 PM

I love how bad weather is attributed when it ruins profits but good weather is never a factor when profits are high.

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Friday, October 28, 2011 6:04 PM

Most parks assume good weather with their financial projections, so it isn't an issue if it turns out that way.

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Friday, October 28, 2011 7:37 PM

Have we already forgotten about the 142 full time staff positions that were cut in September of 2010?

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Saturday, October 29, 2011 1:25 AM

Fun said:
"Officials attributed Six Flags' improved profitability... to a "laser focus" on pricing, new attractions, more targeted regional marketing, and expense controls"

I'm trying to read into this as much as possible. Obviously the "new attractions" is just fluff, but I'm wondering what they did with pricing/expenses this year that caused profits to soar.

People in this thread are too hard on Six Flags. Maybe they *needed* to cut those positions. Its not like 142 positions were making over $60 mil anyway. This is a legitimate great improvement for this company that I for one am EXTREMELY happy to see. They did add a few new things to parks this past year, and we already know that new (or new to their location) things at their parks in 2012 will really generate profits. I plan on hitting SFNE as soon as Goliath opens, I look forward to it.

In conclusion, GOOD FOR THEM! And good for coaster enthusiasts too, as this is good evidence that the company is again moving in the correct direction.

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Saturday, October 29, 2011 11:19 AM

What good weather are you talking about? Up here in the northeast we had our wettest summer on record not to mention tornado's and hurricanes, and even an earthquake! I think alot of it had to do with getting rid of Pappa Johns pizza, who was hammering SF with their prices. It will be interesting to see what happens in 2012 since Ben&Jerry's, Coldstone, and Johnny Rockets contracts are ending soon. From rumors im hearing B&Js is definitely not returning next season.

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Saturday, October 29, 2011 1:26 PM

Hmm, well 11.2 million visitors, average 4 people per car, raise the parking price by $5... there's a quick $14 million, and they didn't even have to expend any capital. :)

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011 4:03 PM

Its the Six Flags way. Gouge everything you can out of those that attend, and give them less by cutting costs.

This can work in the short run. Eventually as the customers that remain get tired of the gouging and the lower quality product produced by cost-cutting, attendance will continue to decrease and this business model will fail. There will be no one left to gouge.

I made my last trip to a Six Flags park this year, ever. It was horrible. Overcharging and upcharging everything, closed rides, cut hours. Never again.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011 4:37 PM

Which park? A lot of people would argue that's a regional scenario.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011 5:35 PM

Completely separate from profits, guest service has been on a continuous upward trend in the past few years, according to Six Flags. It would seem that "price gouging" is either not a factor to the Six Flags guests, or they are willing to look past it because other things have improved.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011 10:52 PM

All they had to do was get rid of the "buy a ticket for next to nothing, and come back for free for the rest of your life" deal and revenue increased right there.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011 1:06 AM

The press releases states in park spending was down and so was attendance, so that would certainly make sense that gate integrity is driving revenues.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011 7:04 AM

And yet they decreased 2012 season pass prices by about $20 across the chain... which still astounds me. Although it did make my decision to renew a lot easier, despite not having any specific plans yet to visit any SF parks next year.

Hey wait a minute, they got me! :)

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011 10:29 AM

Isn't that just through January 1st though?

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011 11:59 AM

Good point, that is/was a limited time offer. Originally it was Oct. 31st, but it looks like some parks have extended it through Jan. 1 or even May 28.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011 12:04 PM

This summer was the first visit I've made a six flags visit since SFWOA closed in Ohio. I visited SFMM with a ticket I won from coke. It was a solo trip to California, and even with free admission I had about $26 in spending at the park. ($15 to park, $10 for lunch, $1 Terminator magnets on closeout.) As far as guest experience, I had a great day, and wished I could have spent a second one. But, the park is only open weekends in the offseason. Crowds were manageable so lines moved quickly.

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