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Nov 1, 2012
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From the Cedar Fair Investors section on their web site:


Cedar Fair Reports 2014 Second-Quarter Results
08/05/2014
Download this Press Release (PDF 732 KB)

SANDUSKY, Ohio, Aug. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, today announced results for the second quarter ended June 29, 2014, provided preliminary attendance and net revenues through this past Sunday, August 3, 2014, and declared a quarterly cash distribution.

Highlights

   The Company reported net revenues of $403 million for the six months ended June 29, 2014, which is equal to the record net revenues reported in the prior-year period ended June 30, 2013.
   Comparable-park revenue trends were positive through July, with preliminary net revenues up approximately 1% through Sunday, August 3, 2014, versus the similar period in 2013, on the strength of a 4% increase in average in-park guest per capita spending.
   The Company now expects to achieve record, full-year 2014 net revenues between $1.16 billion and $1.18 billion and Adjusted EBITDA between $435 million and $445 million.
   The Company declared a quarterly cash distribution of $0.70 per Limited Partner (LP) unit payable September 15, 2014, consistent with its annualized rate of $2.80.

"We continue to see the resilience of our business model and believe the underlying demand for our products remains strong," said Matt Ouimet , Cedar Fair's president and chief executive officer. "The positive comparable-park net revenues we have produced to date are the direct result of increased average in-park guest per capita spending across all of our parks. Consistent with our long-term strategy, we continue to make investments in the overall guest experience, including enhanced live entertainment, the addition of high value and on-trend product offerings, and of course, innovative new rides. Our commitment to maintaining our premium regional brands is at the core of the value proposition we provide our guests, and is directly correlated to increased guest spending across all categories of our business."

Second-Quarter Results

For the 2014 second quarter, Cedar Fair's net revenues were $363 million, comparable with the $362 million in net revenues reported for the second quarter ended June 30, 2013. In the second quarter of 2014, the Company reported a 4% increase in average in-park guest per capita spending to $43.94, offset by a 2%, or 182,000-visit, decrease in attendance to 7.7 million guests, and a $3 million decrease in out-of-park revenues to $35 million. Excluding a non-core, stand-alone water park sold in August 2013, attendance on a comparable-park basis decreased 1%, or 104,000 visits.

The Company attributes the increased average in-park guest per capita spending to enhancements it has made to the overall guest experience, including improvements in food and beverage programs, resulting in increased spending and capture rates across all categories of its business. Factors affecting the decrease in comparable-park attendance for the second quarter of 2014 primarily included the closure of the Company's flagship park, Cedar Point, for a weekend in early June due to a water main break, partial flooding at its Valleyfair park during the last week of June and a prolonged school calendar in certain regions due to harsher than normal winter conditions.

Operating costs and expenses for the second quarter of 2014 were $225 million, representing an increase of $7 million from the prior-year second quarter. The increased costs for the quarter were largely a result of increased operating expenses due to three main drivers: 1) initiatives focused on enhancing the overall guest experience, including the introduction of more midway entertainment and a new policy of offering complimentary admission to the Dinosaurs Alive! attraction for the Company's most loyal season pass customer base; 2) budgeted increases in labor and maintenance costs as the Company continues to invest in its employees and its infrastructure; and 3) unanticipated pre-opening costs due to the harsher than normal winter conditions at several of the Company's parks, including additional snow removal, the trimming and removal of trees, and higher utility costs. The Company expects to recoup a majority of these unanticipated cost variances during the latter part of the year. "We are extremely proud of the effort our employees have put forth to maintain our parks and to provide a one-of-kind 'Best Day' experience to our guests each and every time they visit one of our parks," added Ouimet. "Our parks have never looked better and we are confident our commitment to the overall guest experience provides additional value to our customers and our investors over the long term."

Adjusted EBITDA, which management believes is a meaningful measure of the Company's park-level operating results, decreased $3 million, or 2%, to $141 million for the second quarter ended June 29, 2014 compared with the prior-year period. The decrease is a direct result of a lower attendance base during the quarter compared with the prior-year period, along with the higher year-over-year operating expenses in the period -- both of which the Company expects to partially recoup during the second half of 2014. The attendance decrease and higher operating expenses in the quarter were slightly offset by increased average in-park guest per capita spending at all of its parks.

July Operations

Based on preliminary results, comparable-park net revenues through August 3, 2014 were approximately $715 million, up 1%, or $8 million, compared with $707 million for the same period last year. The increase was a result of an approximate 4%, or $1.55, increase in average in-park guest per capita spending to $45.12. The increase in guest per capita spending was somewhat offset by a 2%, or 273,000-visit, decrease in attendance to 14.6 million visits and a $2 million decrease in out-of-park revenues to $76 million.

"Although we have not met all of our park-level objectives to this point, we are pleased with the positive trends in guest spending at all of our properties," said Ouimet. "There are times we encounter short-term variability in our results which appears to be the case this year relative to attendance at certain parks. Based on the nature of the attendance patterns we have experienced to date and the strength of our average in-park guest per capita spending, we continue to believe the underlying demand for our business remains strong, and we expect 2014 to be another record year for Cedar Fair."

Cash Flow and Liquidity Remain Strong

As of June 29, 2014, the Company had $619 million of variable-rate term debt (before giving consideration to fixed-rate interest rate swaps), $950 million of fixed-rate debt, $39 million borrowed under its revolving credit facilities and $40 million of cash on hand. The Company believes its credit facilities and cash flows are sufficient to meet working capital needs, debt service, planned capital expenditures and distributions for the foreseeable future.

Distribution Declaration

Today, the Company also announced the declaration of a cash distribution of $0.70 per LP unit. The distribution will be paid on September 15, 2014, to unitholders of record as of September 4, 2014. This distribution is consistent with the Company's targeted annualized distribution rate of $2.80 per LP unit and reflects the stability of the Company's performance and continued confidence in its long-term growth strategy. Ouimet added, "We remain committed to providing our investors with a high-quality and sustainable distribution that is poised to grow at least at the pace of our Adjusted EBITDA growth over the next several years. Our recent refinancing, where we were able to lower interest rates over a longer tenor, provides us additional confidence in our free cash flow generation."

Outlook

Cedar Fair's new rides and attractions, including the world-record-breaking roller coaster, Banshee, at Kings Island; an interactive, 4-D roller coaster, Wonder Mountain's Guardian, at Canada's Wonderland; and a major water park expansion at Dorney Park, are all receiving strong reviews from park guests. "Over the next several months our parks will begin announcing exciting new capital programs for the 2015 operating season," said Ouimet. "These investments will continue to focus on the overall guest experience, will be innovative and will continue to expand our digital footprint. One of the things I am personally most excited about when it comes to our future is the organic growth opportunities that exist at our core properties. Most notably in the near term is the re-launch of our Carowinds regional brand in 2015, which will be anchored by a new record-breaking attraction, and the complete renovation of our historic Hotel Breakers at Cedar Point."

Ouimet concluded by stating, "We have approximately one third of the operating season still ahead of us, and we expect 2014 to be another record year for Cedar Fair. Based on current results and our positive outlook for the remainder of the year, we now expect our full-year net revenues to be between $1.16 billion and $1.18 billion and Adjusted EBITDA to be between $435 million and $445 million. We are proud of our ability to grow our business every year and we remain committed to driving sustainable, profitable growth for our investors for many years to come."

Conference Call

The Company will host a conference call with analysts today, August 5, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, which will be web cast live in "listen only" mode via the Cedar Fair website (http://ir.cedarfair.com). It will also be available for replay starting at approximately 1:00 p.m. ET, today, until 11:59 p.m. ET, Thursday, August 19, 2014. In order to access the replay of the earnings call, please dial 1-877-870-5176 followed by the access code 8673182.

About Cedar Fair

Cedar Fair is a publicly traded partnership headquartered in Sandusky, Ohio, and one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world. The Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, three outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels. Its parks are located in Ohio, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, and Toronto, Ontario. Cedar Fair also operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in California under a management contract. Cedar Fair's flagship park, Cedar Point, has been consistently voted the "Best Amusement Park in the World" in a prestigious annual poll conducted by Amusement Today newspaper.

Forward-Looking Statements

Some of the statements contained in this news release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements as to the Company's expectations, beliefs and strategies regarding the future. These statements may involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward- looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Important factors, including general economic conditions, adverse weather conditions, competition for consumer leisure time and spending, unanticipated construction delays, changes in our capital investment plans and projects and other factors discussed from time to time by the Company in reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") could affect attendance at our parks and cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations. Additional information on risk factors that may affect the business and financial results of the Company can be found in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the filings of the Company made from time to time with the SEC. The Company undertakes no obligation to correct or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

This news release and prior releases are available online at http://ir.cedarfair.com


Actual Accounting numbers were omitted here as they did not retain the formatting when pasted in this window. See the Cedar Fair web site, under the Investors Link, for the full press release for the actual accounting numbers. www.cedarfair.com


SOURCE Cedar Fair Entertainment Company
Stacy Frole, (419) 627-2227 or Lisa Broussard, (419) 609-5929
Contact IR

Cedar Fair Entertainment Company
One Cedar Point Drive
Sandusky, OH 44870-5259
(419) 627-2233
investing@cedarfair.com
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b.mac

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Good to hear Cedar Fair is on the up and up. Besides Valleyfair the weather has been overall excellent for parks around the country so I would not be suprised if everyone else posted higher numbers for their second quarter results, even Sea World.
 
Nov 1, 2012
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Based on the article above, Cedar Fair experienced a 2% drop in attendance year-to-date; but, saw a 4% increase in in-park spending.

Based on my internet searching, it seems all regional theme park chains, (excluding Disney and Universal), have seen attendance drops this year. Out of the 3, Cedar Fair was the least impacted, followed by Six Flags, and Sea World Entertainment taking the biggest hit. I even saw a couple rumors that SEAS was looking at showing off the SEAS parks to Chinese investors. [This was 2nd hand information, I will wait to make my own judgement when both of the other chains announce their 2nd quarter results].

Anyway, at least Cedar Fair did not use the excuse of weather being the main reason for the shortfall in attendance. They said it was a variety of factors and they will be minding the purse strings for the rest of the season. I could see a portion of the decrease being due to Cedar Point being closed for a whole weekend in June (water main break) and the flooding at Valley Fair that curtailed operations for a week.

I did read the 2nd quarter transcript of a call that Cedar Fair makes to the investors. There seemed to be no impact to the upcoming Halloween Haunt events across then chain nor any impact to the upcoming 2015 attractions for the parks either. They did mention Carowinds a couple of times. Seems they are making that park a focus for the next couple years.
 
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I found this in the Cedar Fair 2014 2nd Quarter results call transcript. This transcript excerpt was provided by Seeking Alpha [ www.SeekingAlpha.com ]

At the end of the call, there is a question and answer session with the investors. The following is an excerpt with an investor and an answer from Matt Quimet. Notice the investor is talking about a certain competitor: [keep in mind the transcript is from software that translates the voice to the written word. There is syntax issues and sometimes words are not translated correctly].

Ray Cheesman - Anfield Capital

And just one final if I may, the guy with the fish is having a big problem this year. Are those customers potentially your customers or the way that the geography works, does it not really work out that way?

Matthew Ouimet - President and Chief Executive Officer

Look I think very highly that management team. I suspect that much like the visitors who go to Disney, much like the visitors that go to Universal and much like the visitors that go to LEGO, when they come home, they are our customers. And so we're happy that those people visit us when they're home. And by all indications, the cumulative destination market has been relatively healthy as well. So, no, I think those people are our customers. They just happen to be within 60 miles as compared to maybe driving down the East Coast.
 
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Mushroom

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The Blade said:
Higher operating costs and a minor drop in overall attendance brought Cedar Fair LP’s profits down slightly last year.

On Thursday the amusement park company reported a 2014 profit of $104 million, or $1.86 per share, down 4 percent from the previous year when Cedar Fair’s profit was $108 million, or $1.94 per share.

For the year, the Sandusky-based company did have record revenues of $1.16 billion, up 2 percent from $1.13 billion in 2013. Cedar Fair said it revenues rose partly because of a rise in average guest spending to $45.54 per person — up $1.39 from 2013 — and a 2 percent increase in out-of-park revenues, which mainly are stays at the company’s five hotels, to $127 million.

But Cedar Fair said it was hurt slightly by a 1 percent decrease in attendance to 23.3 million visits at its 11 amusement parks and four water parks.

Also, its operating costs and expenses rose 4 percent to $748 million. The increased operating costs were planned and included a rise in labor hours and rates, merit increases for full-time workers, initiatives that enhanced customers’ visits and included more midway entertainment in the parks, and long-term projects such as the company’s new FunTV.

“We are pleased to report a very strong finish to 2014, allowing us to achieve our fifth consecutive year of record results,” said Matt Ouimet, Cedar Fair’s president and chief executive officer. “More importantly, we were able to advance important long-term initiatives that support our ability to continue to grow our business in the years to come.”

Examples of long-term initiatives that will launch in 2015 include the renovation of the beachfront hotel and group catering pavilions at the company’s flagship Cedar Point park in Sandusky and the second phase of a multiyear investment at Carowinds park in Charlotte.

For the fourth quarter, which is traditionally Cedar Fair’s weakest, the company had a loss of $18 million, or 32 cents a share, on revenues of $160 million. That compared with the fourth quarter of 2013 when it had a loss of $20 million, or 37 cents a share, on revenues of $139 million.

Cedar Fair stock closed at $52.75 a share Thursday, down 72 cents on the New York Stock Exchange.
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Mushroom

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Yahoo Finance said:
Innovative new rides and attractions drive visitors to parks in early summer

SANDUSKY, Ohio, July 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, today reported preliminary net revenues through July 5, 2015 of approximately $491 million, an increase of $24 million, or 5%, when compared with the same period a year ago. This period traditionally represents approximately 40% of the Company's full-year net revenues.

The higher net revenues are a result of a 2% increase in attendance, a 2% increase in average in-park guest per capita spending and a 10% increase in out-of-park revenues, including resort hotels.

"We are pleased with the strong start to the first half of 2015," said Matt Ouimet, president and chief executive officer. "Our strategy heading into this year was to provide experiences which would encourage our guests to visit our parks early and to visit them often. This included a focus on early season pass sales, the introduction of an all-season dining program across all of our parks, new spring-time events and delivering innovative new rides and attractions as early as possible. We believe our successful execution in these four areas has been the major driver in our current year growth in terms of both attendance and guest spending."

Ouimet stated that the overall guest response to Fury 325 at Carowinds, along with the new interactive dark ride, Voyage to the Iron Reef, at Knott's Berry Farm, have exceeded expectations. A major water park expansion at Valleyfair has also been well received by its guests, while the renovation of the historic Hotel Breakers at Cedar Point and improved bookings at the Great America Pavilion have both contributed nicely to the growth in out-of-park revenues.

"Our success so far, reaffirms our confidence in our long-term business strategy, our continued commitment to investing in the overall guest experience and our expectations that 2015 will be another record year for Cedar Fair," Ouimet concluded.

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Zachary

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RE: Cedar Fair Reports 5% Revenue Increase for First Half of 2015

Yahoo Finance said:
Ouimet stated that the overall guest response to Fury 325 at Carowinds [... has] exceeded expectations.

"I'm so incredibly shocked by this news! Totally didn't see this coming!" said no one ever.

In all seriousness, I'm not the least bit surprised. I honestly think that Fury 325 was one of the most publicized coaster openings the industry has seen in a very, very long time and, amazingly enough, it managed to live up to the hype. Cedar Fair and B&M struck gold this year. I hope they're both able to successfully ride the wave into 2016 and 2017.
 

Shane

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NewPlusNotes.com has given a great point-by-point breakdown of Cedar Fair's Second Quarter Financial Results. Things look great for the company and they are planning to spend about $130-$140 million a year on capital expansions chain-wide going forward.

NewsPlusNotes.com said:
Today Cedar Fair announced their results for the 2nd quarter of 2017.  The quarter ended with $393 million in revenues, a new record for a 2nd quarter, $5 million higher than last year.  The quarter also had a 2% rise in attendance, and a 1% increase in out-of-park revenues.  The operator doesn't sound overly happy with the results, even though they seem pretty good.  The conference call gave some additional details, let's take a look.

  • Cedar Fair also gave an update on July, the 1st month of the 3rd quarter - which had strong results.  Revenues for the month were up $4 million over last July, with a 2% increase in attendance.  For the first 7 months of the year, revenues are up only $1 million, and attendance is up 62,000 to 15.1 million.
  • This year's big capital projects are well received.  Kings Island's new wooden coaster and the return of WinterFest are projecting the park to have their best year in their history.  The water park expansions at Cedar Point and Knott's have been well received and resulted in longer guest stays, and both water park expect to post record attendance.  Kings Dominion's Planet Snoopy expansion and Pre-K pass have them on track to post their best attendance in 10 years.  The Pre-K pass will roll out to more parks next year.
  • Across all the parks, this year's upcoming Halloween Haunt festivities will feature 120 haunted attractions, more than 40 live shows, and 5,000 monsters roaming the parks.
  • Sales of season passes and similar all-season benefits (food, beverage, photos) are up 10% over last year, which was the best year ever.  The company has beat their record and sold more season passes this year than ever before.  This also created an increase of $20 million of deferred revenue that will be recognized throughout the end of the year.
  • The outdoor sports complex near Cedar Point has been a big success in its first year.  They have booked more than twice the amount of tournaments that they expected.  They're in negotiations for the indoor expansion at the Cedar Point location, and in talks for a second location.
  • WinterFest, as previously announced, will come to Worlds of Fun and Kings Island this year (joining California's Great America), and is expected to generate 500,000 visits among the parks.
  • When asked about the closure of Wildwater Kingdom in Ohio, the company mentioned that it did just over 200,000 visits per year.  It also had no big impact in loss of revenue, and an even smaller impact in EBITDA.
  • With regard to capital expansions, the company is sticking to spending about $130-$140 million per year now.  New sports complexes or hotels would be on top of that amount.  In general terms, they plan for about 9.5-10% of revenues for the figure of further out yearly capital expansions.
Source
 

mtorange

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CP Food Blog came across this article on Yahoo! regarding Cedar Fair’s recent financial troubles. Even though some of he article is heavy on economic and stock jargon, the video brings up some good points on how the chain could fix this problem. Some of these include discounts to closer Cedar Fair parks, email discounts for certain situations, and better advertising themselves as a chain rather than a bunch of different parks (which they’ve been trying to do a little for the 2019 announcement season with the poster teasers).

CP Food Blog brought up the idea of branding themselves like Six Flags: Cedar Fair’s Cedar Point, Cedar Fair’s Kings Dominion, etc. I don’t really like the last idea, but what do y’all think about these strategies?
 

Shane

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This is something I really don't like about like about publicly traded companies. From an outsider's prospective it's cool to get to be able to see how they are doing on a quarter-by-quarter basis, but activist investors are only concerned about the near-term and aren't in it for the long-haul. You can't expect to have growth every quarter. You're going to hit a ceiling, drop some, then start growing again as long as your management team knows what they are doing and has the long-term health of the company as it's priorities. I'm annoyed that just because there is one quarter that's not stellar that everyone is crying foul. If this was something that was going on repeatedly that would be a whole different conversation.
 
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Overall, from the conference call and just overall word of mouth, the chain isn't doing well this year compared to last year. This is tough news to swallow for certain investors who have seen year after year of growth. Especially given the line-up of new attractions they have this year.

I think the big overarching cloud right now is the performance through July 31. July was a very bad month for the chain. However, they have a lot of dropping before I think anyone should be worried. They make a lot of money even when they're down.
 

b.mac

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I think the big overarching cloud right now is the performance through July 31. July was a very bad month for the chain. However, they have a lot of dropping before I think anyone should be worried. They make a lot of money even when they're down.

Biggest issue with the investors is they're beginning to expect results Quarter-over-Quarter like Six Flags has been doing. The investors want to know what Cedar Fair is doing in response to Six Flag's success.

It brings concern to attention with them when Six Flags and SEAS post positive second quarters while Cedar Fair reports a loss, blaming weather for the loss when Six Flags and SEAS have similar competition markets in their highlighted affected areas (Carowinds, KD, BGW, SFA, SFGAdv, Hershey, etc.).
 
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