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Press release from PR Newswire

Quarterly Dividend Raised 50 Percent to 90 Cents Per Share Following Tenth Consecutive Record Quarter at Six Flags

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Quarterly Dividend Raised 50 Percent to 90 Cents Per Share Following Tenth Consecutive Record Quarter at Six Flags08:00 EDT Wednesday, October 24, 2012LTM Cash Earnings Per Share(1) of $4.13 up 26 PercentGRAND PRAIRIE, Texas, Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: SIX), the world's largest regional theme park company, today announced its tenth consecutive quarter of record financial performance. The company generated Adjusted EBITDA2 of $258 million for the third quarter 2012, which represented a $7 million or 3 percent increase over the same period in 2011. Third quarter revenue of $485 million grew $10 million or 2 percent driven primarily by an increase in admissions revenue. Cash earnings per share for the last twelve months grew to $4.13 representing an $0.84 or 26 percent growth over the previous twelve-month period."Six Flags' strong momentum continues, driven by record-high guest satisfaction, innovative new attractions and great execution by our dedicated employees," said Jim Reid-Anderson, Chairman, President and CEO. "Our consistent performance and strong financial position allows us to increase our dividend by 50 percent to an annual dividend rate of $3.60 per share. We remain laser focused on delivering our aspirational target of $500 million of Modified EBITDA by 2015, which would equate to nearly $6 of cash earnings per share." In the quarter, total guest spending per capita declined slightly to $40.56 due primarily to the company's success in generating a higher mix of season pass attendance. On average, season pass holders spend less per visit than a single-day visitor, although they generate more revenue, profit and cash flow for the company over an entire season. Admissions revenue per capita, which increased slightly to $23.51, benefited from higher admissions pricing offset by a significantly higher mix of season pass attendance. In-park revenue per capita decreased to $17.05 due to the higher mix of season pass attendance. Total attendance for the third quarter grew 3 percent to 11.5 million guests.Through the first nine months of the year, revenue increased $51 million or 6 percent driven primarily by a 6 percent increase in attendance. Adjusted EBITDA for the same nine-month period grew $37 million or 12 percent. Over the last twelve months, Adjusted EBITDA grew 15 percent or $50 million to $387 million while Modified EBITDA3 reached $416 million, which represents an industry record-high margin of 39.1 percent.Due to strong season pass sales for both the 2012 and 2013 seasons, deferred revenue as of September 30, 2012 grew to $60 million, an increase of $11 million or 22 percent versus September 30, 2011. Season passes for the 2013 season went on sale August 30, 2012.On September 28, 2012, the company sold its minority interest in dick clark productions ("dcp") for $70 million and recorded a pretax gain of $67 million in the third quarter. The $70 million of cash proceeds were received on October 1, 2012. This divestiture was consistent with the company's strategy of focusing on regional theme park operations.The dcp investment generated in excess of $10 million of annual Adjusted EBITDA for the company during each of the prior two years, including approximately $5.5 million through the first nine months of 2012 and $5.4 million in the fourth quarter of 20114. Diluted earnings per share were $4.46 and $3.69 for the quarter and nine-month periods ended September 30, 2012, respectively, representing 30 percent and 163 percent growth over the prior-year periods. Both the third quarter and year-to-date reporting periods were favorably impacted by the gain on the sale of dcp. Adjusting for the dcp gain and applying the 2012 tax rate to 2011, the earnings per share growth was 7 and 131 percent, respectively.Cash earnings per share for the last twelve months grew to $4.13, an increase of $0.84 or 26 percent as compared to the prior twelve-month 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 Debt5 as of September 30, 2012 was $674 million compared to $667 million as of September 30, 2011. The company's net leverage ratio declined to an industry low 1.7 times as of September 30, 2012 from 2.0 times as of September 30, 2011. Through the first nine months of 2012, the company invested $79 million in new capital, net of property insurance recoveries, paid $97 million in dividends, and repurchased $98 million or 2.1 million shares of its common stock. Subsequent EventsAs a result of the strong performance and confidence in the company's future, the board of directors declared a 50 percent increase in the quarterly dividend, raising it to 90 cents per common share. The fourth-quarter dividend will be payable December 10, 2012 to shareholders of record as of November 27, 2012.The company used the $70 million of cash proceeds received from the sale of its stake in dcp to repurchase 1.1 million common shares. In January 2012, the company announced a $250 million expansion of its share repurchase plan through 2015 and to date has utilized $168 million of the $250 million plan, including shares acquired with the dcp proceeds.2013 New Attractions AnnouncedThe company recently announced its new attractions for the 2013 season, which include something new at every Six Flags park. Key highlights are:Full Throttle at Six Flags Magic Mountain ? the world's tallest and fastest looping coaster. Texas SkyScreamer at Six Flags Over Texas ? the world's tallest swing ride. Safari Off Road Adventure and Big Wave Racer at Six Flags Great Adventure ? creating the world's largest theme park, a unique off-road wild animal encounter, and a massive water slide complex. Cirque Dreams Splashtastic at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom ? an aquatic adventure combining acrobats and music with the power and grace of bottlenose dolphins. Iron Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas ? one of only two hybrid coasters of its kind delivering four over-banked turns and a complete barrel-roll inversion. Bonzai Pipelines at Six Flags New England and Six Flags America ? a revolutionary water attraction featuring six drop-hatch body slides. igNIGHT?Grand Finale at Six Flags Great America ? a technologically advanced singing, dancing and pyrotechnics show with state-of-the-art lighting and sound. Aqua Twist at La Ronde ? an interactive and entertaining ride featuring water battles. The Joker at Six Flags Mexico ? a spinning coaster full of twists and turns. SkyScreamer at Six Flags Over Georgia ? a 24-story swing ride. Typhoon Twister at Six Flags White Water ? a giant, thrill slide with a 67-foot bowl. Boomerang at Six Flags St. Louis ? an exciting coaster that sweeps guests through twists and turns twice?once forward and once backward.Six Flags builds lifelong memories for families and friends through its big thrills, world-class entertainment and excellent guest services.Conference CallAt 8:00 a.m. Central Time today, the company will host a conference call to discuss its third quarter and first nine 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 1-866-363-3999 or +1-203-369-3380 through October 31, 2012. About Six Flags Entertainment CorporationSix 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 StatementsThe 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)"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.(2)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).(3)See Note 3 to the following financial statements for a discussion of Modified EBITDA and its reconciliation to net income (loss).(4)dick clark productions 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.(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 EndedSeptember 30,20122011Theme park admissions$271,119$263,388Theme park food, merchandise and other196,626194,634Sponsorship, licensing and other fees12,40912,927Accommodations revenue4,9894,656Total revenue485,143475,605Operating expenses (excluding depreciation and amortization shown separately below)132,737130,417Selling, general and administrative expense (excludingdepreciation, amortization and stock-basedcompensation shown separately below)41,36441,779Costs of products sold34,48334,594Depreciation31,68637,320Amortization3,6264,512Stock-based compensation12,7516,652Loss on disposal of assets5,1922,190Gain on sale of investee(67,041)-Interest expense, net11,41916,496Equity in loss of investee1,652766Other expense (income), net832(340)Restructure recovery-(202)Income from continuing operations beforereorganization items, income taxes and discontinued operations276,442201,421Reorganization items, net659609Income from continuing operations before income taxes and discontinued operations275,783200,812Income tax expense (benefit)11,014(10,376)Income from continuing operations before discontinued operations264,769211,188Income (loss) from discontinued operations7,209(11)Net income$271,978$211,177 Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests(18,953)(18,307)Net income attributable toSix Flags Entertainment Corporation$253,025$192,870Net income applicable to Six Flags Entertainment Corporation common stockholders$253,025$192,870Per share - basic:    Income from continuing operations        applicable to Six Flags Entertainment        Corporation common stockholders$     4.60$     3.53   Income (loss) from discontinued operations       applicable to Six Flags Entertainment      Corporation common stockholders$     0.13$         -Net income applicable to Six Flags Entertainment   Corporation common stockholders$     4.73$     3.53Per share - diluted:    Income from continuing operations       applicable to Six Flags Entertainment       Corporation common stockholders$     4.33$     3.43   Income (loss) from discontinued operations      applicable to Six Flags Entertainment       Corporation common stockholders$     0.13$         -   Net income applicable to Six Flags EntertainmentCorporation common stockholders$     4.46$     3.43Weighted average shares outstanding - basic53,48754,694Weighted average shares outstanding - diluted56,79356,238Six Flags Entertainment Corporation(In Thousands, Except Per Share Amounts)Statements of Operations Data (1)Nine Months EndedSeptember 30,20122011Theme park admissions$503,690$473,287Theme park food, merchandise and other379,160358,218Sponsorship, licensing and other fees30,07631,418Accommodations revenue13,48712,690Total revenue926,413875,613 Operating expenses (excluding depreciation andamortization shown separately below)339,452328,125Selling, general and administrative expense (excludingdepreciation, amortization and stock-basedcompensation shown separately below)131,158131,869Costs of products sold70,14467,481Depreciation100,677113,821Amortization12,04513,540Stock-based compensation44,88434,316Loss on disposal of assets7,6476,105Gain on sale of investee(67,041)-Interest expense, net34,23449,278Equity in loss of investee2,2223,013Other expense (income), net295(193)Restructure (recovery) costs(47)25,146Income from continuing operations beforereorganization items, income taxes anddiscontinued operations250,743103,112Reorganization items, net1,7081,443Income from continuing operationsbefore income taxes and discontinued operations249,035101,669Income tax expense (benefit)8,452(14,065)Income from continuing operations before discontinued operations240,583115,734Income (loss) from discontinued operations7,157(113)Net income$247,740$115,621Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests(37,559)(36,273) Net income attributable to Six Flags Entertainment Corporation$210,181$  79,348Net income applicable to Six Flags Entertainment Corporation common stockholders$210,181$  79,348Per share - basic:   Income from continuing operations      applicable to Six Flags Entertainment      Corporation common stockholders$     3.77$     1.44 Income (loss) from discontinued operations    applicable to Six Flags Entertainment    Corporation common stockholders$     0.13$         -Net income applicable to Six Flags Entertainment Corporation common stockholders$     3.90$     1.44Per share - diluted:   Income from continuing operations       applicable to Six Flags Entertainment     Corporation common stockholders$     3.57$     1.40  Income (loss) from discontinued operations      applicable to Six Flags Entertainment       Corporation common stockholders$     0.12$         -Net income applicable to Six Flags Entertainment Corporation common stockholders$     3.69$     1.40Weighted average shares outstanding - basic53,95855,101Weighted average shares outstanding - diluted56,89256,539The following table sets forth a reconciliation of net income to Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow for the periods shown (in thousands):Three Months EndedSeptember 30,20122011Net income$271,978$211,177(Income) loss from discontinued operations(7,209)11Income tax expense (benefit)11,014(10,376)Restructure recovery-(202)Reorganization items, net659609Other expense (income), net832(340)Equity in loss of investee1,652766Interest expense, net11,41916,496Loss on disposal of assets5,1922,190Gain on sale of investee(67,041)-Amortization3,6264,512Depreciation31,68637,320Stock-based compensation12,7516,652Impact of Fresh Start valuation adjustments (2)250387Modified EBITDA (3)276,809269,202Third party interest in EBITDAof certain operations (4)(19,231)(18,286)Adjusted EBITDA (3)$257,578$250,916Cash paid for interest, net(9,563)(14,076)Capital expenditures (net of property insurance recoveries)(14,816)(9,647)Cash taxes(1,765)(1,845)Free Cash Flow (5)$231,434$225,348Weighted average shares outstanding - basic53,48754,694Cash Earnings Per Share$     4.33$     4.12The following table sets forth a reconciliation of net income to Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow for the periods shown (in thousands):Nine Months EndedSeptember 30,20122011Net Income$247,740$115,621(Income) loss from discontinued operations(7,157)113Income tax expense (benefit)8,452(14,065)Restructure (recovery) costs(47)25,146Reorganization items, net1,7081,443Other expense (income), net295(193)Equity in loss of investee2,2223,013Interest expense, net34,23449,278Loss on disposal of assets7,6476,105Gain on sale of investee(67,041)-Amortization12,04513,540Depreciation100,677113,821Stock-based compensation44,88434,316Impact of Fresh Start valuation adjustments (2)7381,142Modified EBITDA (3)386,397349,280Third party interest in EBITDA of certain operations (4)(33,726)(33,729)Adjusted EBITDA (3)$352,671$315,551Cash paid for interest, net(30,264)(35,088)Capital expenditures (net of property insurance recoveries)(79,121)(69,253)Cash taxes(8,192)(6,889)Free Cash Flow (5)$235,094$204,321Weighted average shares outstanding - basic53,95855,101Cash Earnings Per Share$     4.36$     3.71The following table sets forth a reconciliation of net income to Adjusted EBITDA and Free CashFlow for the periods shown (in thousands):Last Twelve Months EndedSeptember 30,20122011Net income $145,264$  20,436Loss from discontinued operations(8,471)63Income tax expense (benefit)14,452(11,431)Restructure (recovery) costs(107)31,101Reorganization items, net2,7203,952Other expense (income), net561(4,897)Loss on debt extinguishment46,52017,536Equity in loss of investee2,3203,356Interest expense, net50,17368,632Loss on disposal of assets9,15716,704Gain on sale of investee(67,041)-Amortization16,55218,051Depreciation137,808153,628Stock-based compensation64,82947,763Impact of Fresh Start valuation adjustments (2)1,1312,030Modified EBITDA (3)415,868366,924 Third party interest in EBITDA of certain operations (4)(28,414)(29,573)Adjusted EBITDA (3)$387,454$337,351Cash paid for interest, net(53,126)(59,943)Capital expenditures (net of property insurance recoveries)(101,012)(87,634)Cash taxes(9,248)(7,891)Free Cash Flow (5)$224,068$181,883Weighted average shares outstanding - basic54,21955,255Cash Earnings Per Share$     4.13$     3.29Balance Sheet Data(In Thousands)Balance Sheet DataSeptember 30, 2012December 31, 2011Cash and cash equivalents  (excluding restricted cash)$      281,444$    231,427Total assets2,789,4492,648,178Current portion of long-term debt13,41835,296Long-term debt (excluding current  portion)941,584921,940Redeemable noncontrolling interests 456,362440,427Total equity893,694767,148Shares outstanding54,10954,642(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 measure 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.  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.(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 the $16.0 million of deferred financing costs related to the Company's debt refinancing incurred in the fourth quarter of 2011 due to the unusual nature of this item.  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 CorporationFor further information: Nancy Krejsa, Senior Vice President, Investor, Relations and Corporate Communications, +1-972-595-5083, nkrejsa@sftp.com