Another Record Year for Six Flags in 2012 Adjusted EBITDA(1) Climbs 9 Percent to $383 Million and Cash EPS(2) Grows 23 Percent to $4.33

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas, Feb. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: SIX), the world's largest regional theme park company, today announced another record year of financial results as it generated a company-high $383 million of Adjusted EBITDA in 2012, representing a $32 million or 9 percent increase over 2011. After adjusting for the September 2012 divestiture of its minority interest in dick clark productions3, the company's comparable 2012 Adjusted EBITDA increased $38 million or 11 percent over prior year. Free Cash Flow4 grew $40 million to $233 million while Cash Earnings Per Share increased 23 percent or $0.82 to $4.33.

"Excellent execution of our strategy has been a key factor in driving our third successive year of record performance," said Jim Reid-Anderson, Chairman, President and CEO. "Guests recognize that we are providing innovative rides and attractions, superb service, and great value for their money. We are well-positioned as we enter the 2013 season and remain focused on delivering our aspirational target of $500 million of Modified EBITDA by 2015, which equates to almost $6 of cash earnings per share."

Annual attendance grew 6 percent to 25.7 million, driven by the company's success in upselling guests to season passes. Higher penetration of season pass sales is a key initiative because season pass holders, over the course of an entire season, generate higher revenue and cash flow than single day visitors.

Revenue for the year increased 6 percent, or $57 million, to $1,070 million. Approximately $35 million of the revenue growth came from higher admissions revenue and another $24 million from higher in-park sales.

Total guest spending per capita in 2012 increased slightly over prior year to $39.41 despite the higher mix of season pass holder attendance. Admissions per capita for the year increased 0.5 percent or $0.11 to $22.41 while in park spending per capita was flat at $17.00.

Modified EBITDA5 in 2012 was $416 million and Modified EBITDA margin improved to an industry high of 38.9 percent—an increase of 153 basis points over 2011.

Diluted earnings per share for 2012 was $6.38 as compared to a loss of $0.41 in 2011. Both the fourth quarter and full year net income and earnings per share amounts were favorably impacted by the partial reversal of a net operating loss carryforward valuation allowance. Adjusting for the $237 million valuation reserve reversal, 2012 earnings per share was $2.10.

Fourth quarter 2012 revenue grew 5 percent to $144 million due to a 3 percent increase in attendance and a 2 percent increase in total revenue per capita. Guest spending per capita was up 3 percent to $35.82, which included a 4 percent or $0.72 increase in admissions per capita and a 2 percent or $0.28 increase in in-park revenue per capita. Fourth quarter attendance was 3.7 million.

Adjusted EBITDA in the fourth quarter was $30 million—a decline of $5 million due to the absence of EBITDA associated with the company's minority interest in dick clark productions, which was divested at the end of the third quarter 2012. On a comparable basis, Adjusted EBITDA grew 2 percent in the fourth quarter.

During the year, the company invested $98 million in new capital, net of property insurance recoveries and returned $380 million to shareholders by paying $148 million in dividends and repurchasing $232 million or 4.2 million shares of its common stock at an average price of $54.59 per share. In the fourth quarter, the company paid $52 million in dividends, or $0.90 per share, and repurchased $134 million or 2.2 million shares of its common stock.

Due to strong season pass sales for the 2013 season, deferred revenue as of December 31, 2012 grew to $53 million, a $15 million or 38 percent increase versus December 31, 2011.

Net Debt6 as of December 31, 2012 was $776 million, a 2.0 times net leverage ratio, compared to $726 million as of December 31, 2011.

In December, the company issued $800 million of senior unsecured notes at a 5.25 percent coupon. It used $350 million of the proceeds to pay down its bank term loan with the balance to be used for share repurchases and other corporate purposes. The company repurchased $203 million or 3.2 million shares between January 1, 2013 and February 19, 2013 and has $315 million remaining under its authorized share repurchase plan. As of February 19, 2013, 50.6 million shares were outstanding.

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 2012 financial performance. 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 1-800-879-4907 or +1-402-220-4725 through March 2, 2013.

About Six Flags Entertainment Corporation

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation is the world's largest regional theme park company with over $1 billion in revenue and 18 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, 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, 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, pending, threatened or future legal proceedings and the significant expenses associated with litigation 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 EPS (or 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)

The company's minority 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.



(4)

See Note 5 to the following financial statements for a discussion of Free Cash Flow.



(5)

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



(6)

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,



2012


2011






Theme park admissions


$           73,018


$           68,457

Theme park food, merchandise and other


58,222


55,626

Sponsorship, licensing and other fees


9,901


10,962

Accommodations revenue


2,778


2,516

Total revenue


143,919


137,561






Operating expenses (excluding depreciation and





 amortization shown separately below)


72,227


69,749

Selling, general and administrative expense (excluding





 depreciation, amortization and stock-based





 compensation shown separately below)


31,842


28,929

Costs of products sold


10,025


9,805

Depreciation


31,720


37,131

Amortization


3,603


4,507

Stock-based compensation


17,991


19,945

Loss on disposal of assets


458


1,510

Gain on sale of investee


(278)


-

Interest expense, net


12,390


15,939

Equity in loss of investee


-


98

Loss on debt extinguishment


587


46,520

Other expense, net


317


266

Restructure recovery


-


(60)






Loss from continuing operations before





 reorganization items, income taxes and 





 discontinued operations


(36,963)


(96,778)






Reorganization items, net


460


1,012






Loss from continuing operations





 before income taxes and discontinued operations


(37,423)


(97,790)

Income tax (benefit) expense


(180,680)


6,000






Income (loss) from continuing operations before





 discontinued operations


143,257


(103,790)






Income from discontinued operations


116


1,314






Net income (loss)


$         143,373


$        (102,476)






Less: Net loss attributable to





  noncontrolling interests


455


468






Net income (loss) attributable to





  Six Flags Entertainment Corporation


$         143,828


$        (102,008)






Net income (loss) applicable to Six Flags Entertainment





  Corporation common stockholders


$         143,828


$        (102,008)






Per share - basic:





     Income (loss) from continuing operations





       applicable to Six Flags Entertainment





       Corporation common stockholders


$              2.69


$             (1.88)

     Income from discontinued operations





       applicable to Six Flags Entertainment





       Corporation common stockholders


$                   -


$              0.03






Net income (loss) applicable to Six Flags Entertainment





   Corporation common stockholders


$              2.69


$             (1.85)






Per share - diluted:





     Income (loss) from continuing operations





       applicable to Six Flags Entertainment





       Corporation common stockholders


$              2.59


$             (1.88)

     Income from discontinued operations





       applicable to Six Flags Entertainment





       Corporation common stockholders


$                   -


$              0.03






Net income (loss) applicable to Six Flags Entertainment





   Corporation common stockholders


$              2.59


$             (1.85)






Weighted average shares outstanding - basic


53,499


54,997






Weighted average shares outstanding - diluted


55,464


54,997






 

 

 

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation

(In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)











Statements of Operations Data (1)


Year Ended



December 31,



2012


2011






Theme park admissions


$         576,708


$         541,744

Theme park food, merchandise and other


437,382


413,844

Sponsorship, licensing and other fees


39,977


42,380

Accommodations revenue


16,265


15,206

Total revenue


1,070,332


1,013,174






Operating expenses (excluding depreciation and





 amortization shown separately below)


411,679


397,874

Selling, general and administrative expense (excluding





 depreciation, amortization and stock-based





 compensation shown separately below)


163,000


160,798

Costs of products sold


80,169


77,286

Depreciation


132,397


150,952

Amortization


15,648


18,047

Stock-based compensation


62,875


54,261

Loss on disposal of assets


8,105


7,615

Gain on sale of investee


(67,319)


-

Interest expense, net


46,624


65,217

Equity in loss of investee


2,222


3,111

Loss on debt extinguishment


587


46,520

Other expense, net


612


73

Restructure (recovery) costs


(47)


25,086






Income from continuing operations before





 reorganization items, income taxes and 





 discontinued operations


213,780


6,334






Reorganization items, net


2,168


2,455






Income from continuing operations





 before income taxes and discontinued operations


211,612


3,879

Income tax benefit


(172,228)


(8,065)






Income from continuing operations before





 discontinued operations


383,840


11,944






Income from discontinued operations


7,273


1,201






Net income


$         391,113


$           13,145






Less: Net income attributable to





  noncontrolling interests


(37,104)


(35,805)






Net income (loss) attributable to





  Six Flags Entertainment Corporation


$         354,009


$          (22,660)






Net income (loss) applicable to Six Flags Entertainment





  Corporation common stockholders


$         354,009


$          (22,660)






Per share - basic:





     Income (loss) from continuing operations





       applicable to Six Flags Entertainment





       Corporation common stockholders


$              6.44


$             (0.43)

     Income from discontinued operations





       applicable to Six Flags Entertainment





       Corporation common stockholders


$              0.13


$              0.02






Net income (loss) applicable to Six Flags Entertainment





   Corporation common stockholders


$              6.57


$             (0.41)






Per share - diluted:





     Income (loss) from continuing operations





       applicable to Six Flags Entertainment





       Corporation common stockholders


$              6.25


$             (0.43)

     Income from discontinued operations





       applicable to Six Flags Entertainment





       Corporation common stockholders


$              0.13


$              0.02






Net income (loss) applicable to Six Flags Entertainment





   Corporation common stockholders


$              6.38


$             (0.41)






Weighted average shares outstanding - basic


53,842


55,075






Weighted average shares outstanding - diluted


55,468


55,075






 

 

 


The following table sets forth a reconciliation of net income (loss) to Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow for the periods shown (in thousands):








Three Months Ended



December 31,



2012


2011






Net income (loss)


$    143,373


$   (102,476)

Income from discontinued operations


(116)


(1,314)

Income tax (benefit) expense


(180,680)


6,000

Restructure recovery


-


(60)

Reorganization items, net


460


1,012

Other expense, net


317


266

Loss on debt extinguishment


587


46,520

Equity in loss of investee


-


98

Interest expense, net


12,390


15,939

Loss on disposal of assets


458


1,510

Gain on sale of investee


(278)


-

Amortization


3,603


4,507

Depreciation


31,720


37,131

Stock-based compensation


17,991


19,945

Impact of Fresh Start valuation adjustments (2)


255


393






Modified EBITDA (3)


30,080


29,471

Third party interest in EBITDA





  of certain operations (4)


(122)


5,312






Adjusted EBITDA (3)


$      29,958


$      34,783

Cash paid for interest, net


(11,449)


(22,862)

Capital expenditures (net of property insurance recoveries)


(19,374)


(21,891)

Cash taxes


(1,243)


(1,056)






Free Cash Flow (5)


$      (2,108)


$    (11,026)






Weighted average shares outstanding - basic


53,499


54,997






Cash Loss Per Share


$        (0.04)


$        (0.20)











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,



2012


2011











Net income


$    391,113


$     13,145

Income from discontinued operations


(7,273)


(1,201)

Income tax benefit


(172,228)


(8,065)

Restructure (recovery) costs


(47)


25,086

Reorganization items, net


2,168


2,455

Other expense, net


612


73

Loss on debt extinguishment


587


46,520

Equity in loss of investee


2,222


3,111

Interest expense, net


46,624


65,217

Loss on disposal of assets


8,105


7,615

Gain on sale of investee


(67,319)


-

Amortization


15,648


18,047

Depreciation


132,397


150,952

Stock-based compensation


62,875


54,261

Impact of Fresh Start valuation adjustments (2)


993


1,535






Modified EBITDA (3)


416,477


378,751

Third party interest in EBITDA





  of certain operations (4)


(33,848)


(28,417)






Adjusted EBITDA (3)


$    382,629


$    350,334

Cash paid for interest, net


(41,713)


(57,950)

Capital expenditures (net of property insurance recoveries)


(98,495)


(91,144)

Cash taxes


(9,435)


(7,945)






Free Cash Flow (5)


$    232,986


$    193,295






Weighted average shares outstanding - basic


53,842


55,075






Cash Earnings Per Share


$         4.33


$         3.51






 

 

 


Balance Sheet Data


(In Thousands)


















Balance Sheet Data

December 31, 2012


December 31, 2011









Cash and cash equivalents








  (excluding restricted cash)

$            629,208




$    231,427


Total assets


3,056,391




2,648,178










Current portion of long-term debt


6,240




35,296


Long-term debt (excluding current








  portion)


1,398,966




921,940










Redeemable noncontrolling interests 


437,941




440,427










Total equity


896,152




767,148










Shares outstanding


53,819




54,642


















 

(1)

Revenues and expenses of international operations are converted into U.S. dollars on an average basis as provided by GAAP.


(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: (i) 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")) 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 sold its interest in dick clark productions, inc. in September 2012.


(5)

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 senior unsecured note offering that occurred in the fourth quarter of 2012 and the Company's debt refinancing that occurred in the fourth quarter of 2011 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.

SOURCE Six Flags Entertainment Corporation



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