Adjusted EBITDA Climbs 24 Percent and Cash EPS grows 60 Percent on 11 Percent Revenue Growth in the Second Quarter at Six Flags Strong Cash Flow Used to Repurchase $98 Million of Company Stock in First Half of 2012

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas, July 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: SIX), the world's largest regional theme park company, today announced that second quarter 2012 revenue grew 11 percent or $36 million over prior year to a record $375 million. The strong performance was driven by an 11 percent or $20 million increase in ticket revenue and a 12 percent or $17 million increase in in-park sales. Attendance increased by one million guests or 12 percent over prior year. Adjusted EBITDA1 for the same period grew 24 percent or $27 million to a record $141 million while cash earnings per share2 of $1.78 grew 60 percent compared to the second quarter of 2011. 

"Our focused strategy is clearly working. We are delighting our guests with innovative new attractions and great service at an exceptional value," said Jim Reid-Anderson, Chairman, President and CEO. "I am confident our consistent execution will continue to drive growth in cash flow, enable high returns for our shareholders, and further strengthen our financial position."

Guest spending per capita for the quarter of $39.06 declined one percent or $0.30 due to a reduction in admissions revenue per capita. Admissions revenue per capita declined one percent or $0.31 to $21.97 as individual ticket pricing gains were offset by the company's success in growing season pass attendance. In-park revenue per capita for the quarter was $17.08—up slightly over prior year.  

For the first six months of the year, revenue increased 10 percent or $41 million over the same period in 2011 while Adjusted EBITDA grew 47 percent or $30 million. The company's Adjusted EBITDA for the last twelve months grew to $381 million and Modified EBITDA3 for the same period grew to $408 million. Modified EBITDA margin for the last twelve months improved by 320 basis points to 38.7 percent, a new record high for the company and the industry.

Due primarily to strong season pass sales, deferred revenue as of June 30, 2012 grew to $106 million, an increase of $19 million or 22 percent versus June 2011.

Diluted earnings per share was $1.27 in the second quarter and a loss of $0.79 for the first six months of 2012, an improvement of $0.65 or 105 percent and $1.26, respectively.

Cash earnings per share for the last twelve months grew to $4.00, an increase of $0.89 as compared to the prior twelve-month time period. The company believes cash earnings per share is a meaningful metric given the current $1.1 billion accumulated tax loss carryforward and the net depreciation and amortization impacts relating to fresh-start accounting.

Net Debt4 as of June 30, 2012 was $828 million compared to $829 million as of June 30, 2011. The company's net leverage ratio declined to an industry low of 2.2 times as of June 30, 2012 from 2.6 times as of June 30, 2011. In the first six months of 2012 the company invested $64 million in new capital, net of property insurance recoveries, paid $64 million in dividends, or $1.20 per share of common stock, and repurchased $98 million or 2.1 million shares of its common stock at an average price of approximately $47 per share.

Conference Call
At 8:00 a.m. Central Time today, the company will host a conference call to discuss its second quarter and first six months 2012 financial results. The call is accessible either through the Six Flags Investor Relations website at www.sixflags.com/investors or by dialing 1-888-282-0415 in the United States or +1-415-228-4945 outside the United States and requesting the Six Flags earnings call. A replay of the call will be available by dialing 1-800-925-0943 or +1-203-369-3380 through July 31, 2012.

About Six Flags Entertainment Corporation
Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world's largest regional theme park company with over $1.0 billion in revenue and 19 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada. For more than 50 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 improve operating results by implementing strategic cost reductions, and organizational and personnel changes without adversely affecting our business, (iii) our operations and results of operations, and (iv) 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, events, disturbances and terrorist activities, risk of accidents occurring at the company's parks, adverse weather conditions, general financial and credit market conditions, economic conditions (including consumer spending patterns), competition, pending, threatened or future legal proceedings 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)   "Cash earnings per share", which is defined as Free Cash Flow 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.

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

(4)   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




June 30,




2012



2011








Theme park admissions



$203,120



$183,563

Theme park food, merchandise and other



157,917



140,651

Sponsorship, licensing and other fees



9,959



10,579

Accommodations revenue



3,916



3,880

Total revenue



374,912



338,673








Operating expenses (excluding depreciation and







 amortization shown separately below)



128,143



120,453

Selling, general and administrative expense (excluding






 depreciation, amortization and stock-based







 compensation shown separately below)



60,574



60,701

Costs of products sold



29,934



27,317

Depreciation



31,998



36,979

Amortization



3,917



4,515

Stock-based compensation



15,124



13,361

Loss on disposal of assets



812



1,938

Interest expense, net



11,452



16,262

Equity in loss of investee



250



1,091

Other expense, net



244



503

Restructure recovery



(47)



(1,254)








Income from continuing operations before







 reorganization items, income taxes and 







 discontinued operations



92,511



56,807








Reorganization items, net



495



334








Income from continuing operations







 before income taxes and discontinued operations



92,016



56,473

Income tax expense



1,194



3,396








Income from continuing operations before







 discontinued operations



90,822



53,077








Loss from discontinued operations



(17)



(66)








Net income



$  90,805



$  53,011








Less: Net income attributable to







  noncontrolling interests



(18,540)



(18,048)








Net income attributable to







  Six Flags Entertainment Corporation



$  72,265



$  34,963








Net income applicable to Six Flags Entertainment







  Corporation common stockholders



$  72,265



$  34,963








Per share - basic:







     Income from continuing operations







       applicable to Six Flags Entertainment







       Corporation common stockholders



$     1.34



$     0.64

     Loss from discontinued operations







       applicable to Six Flags Entertainment







       Corporation common stockholders



$         -



$         -








Net income applicable to Six Flags Entertainment







   Corporation common stockholders



$     1.34



$     0.64








Per share - diluted:







     Income from continuing operations







       applicable to Six Flags Entertainment







       Corporation common stockholders



$     1.27



$     0.62

     Loss from discontinued operations







       applicable to Six Flags Entertainment







       Corporation common stockholders



$         -



$         -








Net income applicable to Six Flags Entertainment







   Corporation common stockholders



$     1.27



$     0.62








Weighted average shares outstanding - basic



53,799



54,994








Weighted average shares outstanding - diluted



56,705



56,743

 

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation

(In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)















Statements of Operations Data (1)



Six Months Ended




June 30,




2012



2011








Theme park admissions



$232,571



$ 209,899

Theme park food, merchandise and other



182,534



163,584

Sponsorship, licensing and other fees



17,667



18,491

Accommodations revenue



8,498



8,034

Total revenue



441,270



400,008








Operating expenses (excluding depreciation and







 amortization shown separately below)



206,715



197,708

Selling, general and administrative expense (excluding






 depreciation, amortization and stock-based







 compensation shown separately below)



89,794



90,090

Costs of products sold



35,661



32,887

Depreciation



68,991



76,501

Amortization



8,419



9,028

Stock-based compensation



32,133



27,664

Loss on disposal of assets



2,455



3,915

Interest expense, net



22,815



32,782

Equity in loss of investee



570



2,247

Other (income) expense, net



(537)



147

Restructure (recovery) costs



(47)



25,348








Loss from continuing operations before







 reorganization items, income taxes and 







 discontinued operations



(25,699)



(98,309)








Reorganization items, net



1,049



834








Loss from continuing operations







 before income taxes and discontinued operations



(26,748)



(99,143)

Income tax benefit



(2,562)



(3,689)








Loss from continuing operations before







 discontinued operations



(24,186)



(95,454)








Loss from discontinued operations



(52)



(102)








Net loss



$ (24,238)



$  (95,556)








Less: Net income attributable to







  noncontrolling interests



(18,606)



(17,966)








Net loss attributable to







  Six Flags Entertainment Corporation



$ (42,844)



$(113,522)








Net loss applicable to Six Flags Entertainment







  Corporation common stockholders



$ (42,844)



$(113,522)








Per share - basic and diluted:







     Loss from continuing operations







       applicable to Six Flags Entertainment







       Corporation common stockholders



$    (0.79)



$     (2.05)

     Loss from discontinued operations







       applicable to Six Flags Entertainment







       Corporation common stockholders



$         -



$          -








Net loss applicable to Six Flags Entertainment







   Corporation common stockholders



$    (0.79)



$     (2.05)








Weighted average shares outstanding - basic and diluted


54,196



55,308

 

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






June 30,






2012




2011













Net income



$  90,805




$  53,011



Loss from discontinued operations



17




66



Income tax expense



1,194




3,396



Restructure recovery



(47)




(1,254)



Reorganization items, net



495




334



Other expense, net



244




503



Equity in loss of investee



250




1,091



Interest expense, net



11,452




16,262



Loss on disposal of assets



812




1,938



Amortization



3,917




4,515



Depreciation



31,998




36,979



Stock-based compensation



15,124




13,361



Impact of Fresh Start valuation adjustments (2)



246




381













Modified EBITDA (3)



156,507




130,583



Third party interest in EBITDA










  of certain operations (4)



(15,780)




(16,863)













Adjusted EBITDA (3)



$140,727




$113,720



Cash paid for interest, net



(14,877)




(13,998)



Capital expenditures (net of property insurance recoveries)



(28,494)




(36,764)



Cash taxes



(1,794)




(2,082)













Free Cash Flow (5)



$  95,562




$  60,876













Weighted average shares outstanding - basic



53,799




54,994













Cash Earnings Per Share



$     1.78




$     1.11