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Fourth Consecutive Record Year at Six Flags

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SOURCE Six Flags Entertainment Corporation

Revenue Climbs 7 Percent and Adjusted EBITDA(1) 19 Percent in Fourth Quarter 2013

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas, Feb. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: SIX), the world's largest regional theme park company, today announced its fourth consecutive year of record financial performance as it generated a company-high $404 million of Adjusted EBITDA1 in 2013, representing a $21 million or 6 percent increase over 2012. On a comparable basis, after adjusting for the September 2012 divestiture of its minority interest in dick clark productions2, Adjusted EBITDA increased $27 million or 7 percent over prior year.

"Strategic focus and excellent execution have been the key drivers of our fourth year of record financial performance," said Jim Reid-Anderson, Chairman, President and CEO. "With 2013 guest-satisfaction scores also at a record high, our guests recognize we are providing innovative rides and attractions, superb service, and great value for their money. We are well-positioned as we enter the 2014 season and remain focused on delivering our target of $500 million of Modified EBITDA by 2015, equating to almost $3 of cash earnings per share."

Full year revenue grew 4 percent to $1.1 billion due to higher admissions, in-park, sponsorship and accommodations revenue. In addition, due to the company's success in delivering excellent value and upselling guests to season passes and memberships, annual attendance for 2013 grew 2 percent to 26.1 million guests. Season pass and membership attendance mix increased to 48 percent from 44 percent in 2012.

Total guest spending per capita in 2013 increased 2 percent over 2012 to $40.18 despite a higher mix of season pass holder and membership attendance. Admissions per capita for the year increased 3 percent or $0.62 to $23.03 while in-park spending per capita grew 1 percent to $17.15.

Cash Earnings Per Share3 of $2.45 increased 13 percent or 29 cents after adjusting for the June 2013 two-for-one stock split. Modified EBITDA4 in 2013 was $444 million and Modified EBITDA margin improved to a new industry high of 40.0 percent.

Diluted earnings per share for 2013 was $1.18 versus $3.30 in 2012. On a comparable basis, full year 2013 diluted earnings per share grew 73 cents or 162 percent after adjusting for the 2012 favorable impact of  the $249 million partial reversal of the net operating loss carryforward valuation allowance and the $67 million gain on sale of our equity interest in dick clark productions.

In the fourth quarter 2013, Adjusted EBITDA improved $6 million or 19 percent to a record $36 million while revenue grew 7 percent. The revenue improvement was primarily due to an 8 percent increase in admissions revenue and a 7 percent increase in in-park revenue. Fourth quarter guest spending per capita was up 6 percent to $37.99, which included a 7 percent or $1.32 increase in admissions per capita and a 5 percent or $0.86 increase in in-park revenue per capita. Fourth quarter attendance was 3.7 million guests.

For the fourth quarter 2013, Cash Earnings Per Share was $0.15, up from a loss of 2 cents in 2012.

Diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter 2013 was $0.13 versus $1.40 in the same quarter 2012. On a comparable basis, which includes adjusting 2012 for the $249 million valuation reserve reversal referenced above, fourth quarter 2013 diluted earnings per share grew $1.00.

In 2013 the company invested $102 million, or 9 percent of revenue, in new capital. It also returned $700 million to shareholders by paying $176 million, or $1.82 per share, of dividends and buying $524 million, or 15.5 million shares, of its common stock at an average per-share price of $33.76. In the fourth quarter the company paid $45 million in dividends, or $0.47 per share, and repurchased $20 million, or 0.5 million shares.

As a result of continued strength in season pass and membership sales, deferred revenue as of December 31, 2013 increased to $60 million, representing an $8 million or 15 percent increase over December 31, 2012.

Net Debt5 as of December 31, 2013 was $1,231 million, which translates to a 3.0 times net leverage ratio.

Conference Call
At 8:00 a.m. Central Time today, the company will host a conference call to discuss its fourth quarter and full year 2013 financial performance. The call is accessible either through the Six Flags Investor Relations website at www.sixflags.com/investors or by dialing 1-855-889-1976 in the United States or +1-937-641-0558 outside the United States and requesting the Six Flags earnings call. A replay of the call will be available by dialing 1-855-859-2056 or +1-404-537-3406 through February 26, 2014.

About Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world's largest regional theme park company with $1.1 billion in revenue and 18 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. For 53 years, Six Flags has entertained millions of families with world-class coasters, themed rides, thrilling water parks and unique attractions including up-close animal encounters, Fright Fest® and Holiday in the Park®. For more information, visit www.sixflags.com.

Forward Looking Statements
The information contained in this release, other than historical information, consists of forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act. These statements may involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements. These risks and uncertainties include, among others, (i) the adequacy of cash flows from operations, available cash and available amounts under our credit facilities to meet our future liquidity needs, (ii) our ability to roll out our capital enhancements in a timely and cost effective manner, (iii) our ability to improve operating results by implementing strategic cost reductions, and organizational and personnel changes without adversely affecting our business, (iv) our operations and results of operations, and (v) the risk factors or uncertainties listed from time to time in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). In addition, important factors, including factors impacting attendance, local conditions, contagious diseases, events, disturbances and terrorist activities, recall of food, toys and other retail products which we sell, risk of accidents occurring at the company's parks or other parks in the industry and adverse publicity concerning our parks, inability to achieve desired improvements and financial performance targets set forth in our aspirational goals, adverse weather conditions such as excess heat or cold, rain and storms, general financial and credit market conditions, economic conditions (including customer spending patterns), changes in public and consumer tastes, construction delays in capital improvements or ride downtime, competition with other theme parks and other entertainment alternatives, dependence on a seasonal workforce, unionization activities and labor disputes, laws and regulations affecting labor and employee benefit costs, including potential increases in state and federally mandated minimum wages, and healthcare reform, pending, threatened or future legal proceedings and the significant expenses associated with litigation, cyber security risks and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the company's expectations. Although the company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will be realized and actual results could vary materially. Reference is made to a more complete discussion of forward-looking statements and applicable risks contained under the captions "Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" and "Risk Factors" in the company's Annual and Quarterly Reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q, and its other filings and submissions with the SEC, each of which are available free of charge on the company's investor relations website at  www.sixflags.com/investors and on the SEC's website at www.sec.gov.

Footnotes

(1)

See the following financial statements and Note 3 to those financial statements for a discussion of Adjusted EBITDA and its reconciliation to net income (loss).



(2)

The company's noncontrolling interest in dick clark productions, which was divested on September 28, 2012, generated $5.4 million, $1.9 million, $3.3 million and $0.3 million of Adjusted EBITDA for the company in Q4 2011, Q1 2012, Q2 2012 and Q3 2012, respectively.



(3)

Cash EPS (or Cash Earnings Per Share), which is defined as Free Cash Flow, as described in Note 6 to the following financial statements, divided by the weighted average basic shares outstanding, is not a U.S. GAAP defined measure. The company believes this measure provides meaningful profitability metrics, given current accumulated tax loss carryforwards and the net depreciation/amortization impacts relating to the revaluation of assets in connection with the company's emergence from Chapter 11 in April 2010.



(4)

See Note 3 to the following financial statements for a discussion of Modified EBITDA and its reconciliation to net income (loss).



(5)

Net Debt represents total long-term debt, including current portion, less cash and cash equivalents.

 

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation

(In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)















Statements of Operations Data (1)



Three Months Ended




December 31,




2013



2012








Theme park admissions



$ 78,911



$ 73,018

Theme park food, merchandise and other



62,200



58,222

Sponsorship, licensing and other fees



10,115



9,901

Accommodations revenue



2,962



2,778

Total revenue



154,188



143,919








Operating expenses (excluding depreciation and




 amortization shown separately below)



76,556



72,227

Selling, general and administrative expense (excluding




 depreciation, amortization and stock-based







 compensation shown separately below)



31,093



31,842

Costs of products sold



11,122



10,025

Depreciation



27,271



31,720

Amortization



3,597



3,603

Stock-based compensation



5,538



17,991

Loss on disposal of assets



1,620



458

Gain on sale of investee



-



(278)

Interest expense, net



18,565



12,390

Loss on debt extinguishment



789



587

Other expense, net



37



317








Loss from continuing operations before







 reorganization items, income taxes and 







 discontinued operations



(22,000)



(36,963)








Reorganization items, net



-



460








Loss from continuing operations







 before income taxes and discontinued operations

(22,000)



(37,423)

Income tax benefit



(34,760)



(192,606)








Income from continuing operations before







 discontinued operations



12,760



155,183








Income from discontinued operations



549



116








Net income



$ 13,309



$ 155,299








Less: Net income attributable to







  noncontrolling interests



6



455








Net income attributable to







  Six Flags Entertainment Corporation



$ 13,315



$ 155,754








Per share - basic:







     Income from continuing operations







       attributable to Six Flags Entertainment







       Corporation common stockholders



$    0.13



$     1.46

     Income from discontinued operations







       attributable to Six Flags Entertainment







       Corporation common stockholders



$    0.01



$           -








Net income attributable to Six Flags Entertainment




   Corporation common stockholders



$    0.14



$     1.46








Per share - diluted:







     Income from continuing operations







       attributable to Six Flags Entertainment







       Corporation common stockholders



$    0.12



$     1.40

     Income from discontinued operations







       attributable to Six Flags Entertainment







       Corporation common stockholders



$    0.01



$           -








Net income attributable to Six Flags Entertainment




   Corporation common stockholders



$    0.13



$     1.40








Weighted average shares outstanding - basic


95,070



106,998








Weighted average shares outstanding - diluted

98,661



110,928

 

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation

(In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)















Statements of Operations Data (1)



Year Ended




December 31,




2013



2012








Theme park admissions



$ 602,204



$ 576,708

Theme park food, merchandise and other

448,547



437,382

Sponsorship, licensing and other fees


42,179



39,977

Accommodations revenue



17,000



16,265

Total revenue



1,109,930



1,070,332








Operating expenses (excluding depreciation and




 amortization shown separately below)

417,482



411,679

Selling, general and administrative expense (excluding

 depreciation, amortization and stock-based




 compensation shown separately below)

162,184



163,000

Costs of products sold



86,663



80,169

Depreciation



113,682



132,397

Amortization



14,393



15,648

Stock-based compensation



27,034



62,875

Loss on disposal of assets



8,579



8,105

Gain on sale of investee



-



(67,319)

Interest expense, net



74,145



46,624

Equity in loss of investee



-



2,222

Loss on debt extinguishment



789



587

Other expense, net



1,234



612

Restructure recovery



-



(47)








Income from continuing operations before




 reorganization items, income taxes and 




 discontinued operations



203,745



213,780








Reorganization items, net



(180)



2,168








Income from continuing operations







 before income taxes and discontinued operations

203,925



211,612

Income tax expense (benefit)



47,601



(184,154)








Income from continuing operations before




 discontinued operations



156,324



395,766








Income from discontinued operations



549



7,273








Net income



$156,873



$403,039








Less: Net income attributable to







  noncontrolling interests



(38,321)



(37,104)








Net income attributable to







  Six Flags Entertainment Corporation


$ 118,552



$ 365,935








Per share - basic:







     Income from continuing operations






       attributable to Six Flags Entertainment




       Corporation common stockholders

$     1.21



$     3.33

     Income from discontinued operations




       attributable to Six Flags Entertainment




       Corporation common stockholders

$     0.01



$     0.07








Net income attributable to Six Flags Entertainment




   Corporation common stockholders



$     1.22



$     3.40








Per share - diluted:







     Income from continuing operations






       attributable to Six Flags Entertainment




       Corporation common stockholders

$     1.17



$     3.23

     Income from discontinued operations




       attributable to Six Flags Entertainment




       Corporation common stockholders

$     0.01



$     0.07








Net income attributable to Six Flags Entertainment




   Corporation common stockholders



$     1.18



$     3.30








Weighted average shares outstanding - basic

96,940



107,684








Weighted average shares outstanding - diluted

100,371



110,936

 

The following table sets forth a reconciliation of net income to Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow for the 

periods shown (in thousands):





















Three Months Ended





December 31,





2013




2012











Net income



$ 13,309




$ 155,299


Income from discontinued operations



(549)




(116)


Income tax benefit



(34,760)




(192,606)


Reorganization items, net



-




460


Other expense, net



37




317


Loss on debt extinguishment



789




587


Interest expense, net



18,565




12,390


Loss on disposal of assets



1,620




458


Gain on sale of investee



-




(278)


Amortization



3,597




3,603


Depreciation



27,271




31,720


Stock-based compensation



5,538




17,991


Impact of Fresh Start valuation adjustments (2)



152




255











Modified EBITDA (3)



35,569




30,080


Third party interest in EBITDA









  of certain operations (4)



(3)




(122)











Adjusted EBITDA (3)



$ 35,566




$ 29,958


Cash paid for interest, net



(6,619)




(11,449)


Capital expenditures



(12,671)




(19,374)


Cash taxes (5)



(2,321)




(1,243)











Free Cash Flow (6)



$ 13,955




$  (2,108)











Weighted average shares outstanding - basic



95,070




106,998











Cash Earnings (Loss) Per Share



$    0.15




$   (0.02)




















The following table sets forth a reconciliation of net income to Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow for the 

periods shown (in thousands):




















Year Ended



December 31,



2013



2012










Net income



$ 156,873




$ 403,039


Income from discontinued operations



(549)




(7,273)


Income tax expense (benefit)



47,601




(184,154)


Restructure recovery



-




(47)


Reorganization items, net



(180)




2,168


Other expense, net



1,234




612


Loss on debt extinguishment



789




587


Equity in loss of investee



-




2,222


Interest expense, net



74,145




46,624


Loss on disposal of assets



8,579




8,105


Gain on sale of investee



-




(67,319)


Amortization



14,393




15,648


Depreciation



113,682




132,397


Stock-based compensation



27,034




62,875


Impact of Fresh Start valuation adjustments (2)



594




993











Modified EBITDA (3)



444,195




416,477


Third party interest in EBITDA









  of certain operations (4)



(40,083)




(33,848)











Adjusted EBITDA (3)



$ 404,112




$ 382,629


Cash paid for interest, net



(51,349)




(41,713)


Capital expenditures (net of property insurance recoveries in 2012)



(101,853)




(98,495)


Cash taxes (5)



(13,768)




(9,435)











Free Cash Flow (6)



$ 237,142




$ 232,986











Weighted average shares outstanding - basic



96,940




107,684











Cash Earnings Per Share



$     2.45




$     2.16


 

Balance Sheet Data (1)

(In Thousands)



























Balance Sheet Data


December 31, 2013


December 31, 2012


















Cash and cash equivalents













  (excluding restricted cash)


$ 169,310




$ 629,208






Total assets



2,607,814




3,056,391



















Deferred income



60,443




52,703






Current portion of long-term debt



6,269




6,240






Long-term debt (excluding current













  portion)



1,394,334




1,398,966



















Redeemable noncontrolling interests 


437,569




437,941



















Total equity



373,337




888,666



















Shares outstanding



94,857




107,638








(1)

Revenues and expenses of international operations are converted into U.S. dollars on an average basis as provided by GAAP.  Amounts have been recast to reflect the June 2013 stock split and reflect corrected valuation allowance amounts.



(2)

Amounts recorded as valuation adjustments and included in reorganization items for the month of April 2010 that would have been included in Modified EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA, had fresh start accounting not been applied.  Balance consists primarily of discounted insurance reserves that will be accreted through the statement of operations each quarter through 2018.



(3)

"Modified EBITDA", a non-GAAP measure, is defined as the Company's consolidated income (loss) from continuing operations: excluding the cumulative effect of changes in accounting principles, discontinued operations gains or losses, income tax expense or benefit, restructure costs or recoveries, reorganization items (net), other income or expense, gain or loss on early extinguishment of debt, equity in income or loss of investees, interest expense (net), gain or loss on disposal of assets, gain or loss on the sale of investees, amortization, depreciation, stock-based compensation, and fresh start accounting valuation adjustments. The Company believes that Modified EBITDA is useful to investors, equity analysts and rating agencies as a measure of the Company's performance.  The Company believes that Modified EBITDA is a measure that can be readily compared to other companies, and the Company uses Modified EBITDA in its internal evaluation of operating effectiveness and decisions regarding the allocation of resources.  Modified EBITDA is not defined by GAAP and should not be considered in isolation or as an alternative to net income (loss), income (loss) from continuing operations, net cash provided by (used in) operating, investing and financing activities or other financial data prepared in accordance with GAAP or as an indicator of the Company's operating performance.  Modified EBITDA as defined herein may differ from similarly titled measures presented by other companies.




"Adjusted EBITDA", a non-GAAP measure, is defined as Modified EBITDA minus the interests of third parties in the Adjusted EBITDA of properties that are less than wholly owned (consisting of Six Flags Over Georgia, Six Flags White Water Atlanta, Six Flags Over Texas, and Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Waterpark (the "Lodge") of which the Company purchased the noncontrolling interests from its partners in the Lodge in 2013) plus the Company's interest in the Adjusted EBITDA of dick clark productions, inc., which was sold in September 2012.  The Company believes that Adjusted EBITDA provides useful information to investors regarding the Company's operating performance and its capacity to incur and service debt and fund capital expenditures.  Adjusted EBITDA is approximately equal to "Parent Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA" as defined in the Company's secured credit agreement, except that Parent Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA excludes Adjusted EBITDA from equity investees that is not distributed to the Company in cash on a net basis and has limitations on the amounts of certain expenses that are excluded from the calculation.  Adjusted EBITDA is not defined by GAAP and should not be considered in isolation or as an alternative to net income (loss), income (loss) from continuing operations, net cash provided by (used in) operating, investing and financing activities or other financial data prepared in accordance with GAAP or as an indicator of the Company's operating performance.  Adjusted EBITDA as defined herein may differ from similarly titled measures presented by other companies.



(4)

Represents interests of third parties in the Adjusted EBITDA of Six Flags Over Georgia, Six Flags Over Texas, Six Flags White Water Atlanta and the Lodge, plus the Company's interest in the Adjusted EBITDA of dick clark productions, inc., which are less than wholly owned.  The Company purchased the noncontrolling interests from its partners in the Lodge in 2013 and sold its interest in dick clark productions, inc. in September 2012.



(5)

Based on our current federal net operating loss carryforwards, we believe we will continue to pay minimal amounts for cash taxes for the next three to four years.  Cash taxes paid represents statutory taxes paid, primarily in Mexico.



(6)

Free Cash Flow, a non-GAAP measure, is defined as Adjusted EBITDA less (i) cash paid for interest expense net of interest income receipts, (ii) capital expenditures net of property insurance recoveries, and (iii) cash taxes.  The Company has excluded from the definition of Free Cash Flow deferred financing costs related to the Company's debt due to the unusual nature of these items.  The Company believes that Free Cash Flow is useful to investors, equity analysts and rating agencies as a performance measure.  The Company uses Free Cash Flow in its internal evaluation of operating effectiveness and decisions regarding the allocation of resources.Free Cash Flow is not defined by GAAP and should not be considered in isolation or as an alternative to net income (loss), income(loss) from continuing operations, net cash provided by (used in) operating, investing and financing activities or other financial data prepared in accordance with GAAP or as an indicator of the Company's operating performance.  Free Cash Flow as defined herein may differ from similarly titled measures presented by other companies.

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