The Six Flags Roller Coaster

Does Six Flags chairman (and Washington Redskins majority owner) Dan Snyder need a new turnaround strategy?

From the Associated Press:

Six Flags Inc.'s shares, which have been punished by weakening consumer spending and soaring fuel prices, continued their roller coaster ride on Wednesday, plunging nearly 44 percent at the end of the trading session.

Six Flags' shares lost 37 cents to close at 48 cents, after touching an all-time low of 25 cents during the day. The stock has lost more than 90 percent from its 52-week high of $5.92 last July. In after-hours trading, the stock regained 10 cents to 58 cents.

On Tuesday, research firm IBISWorld predicted that fewer Americans will visit U.S. amusement parks this year and admissions will improve only slightly in 2009.

"Park admissions are expected to suffer this summer because of the economic outlook and related deferred investment in new rides and facilities," wrote senior analyst George Van Horn. He noted that new roller coasters and thrill rides, which are major draws for repeat visits, can cost $15 million to $20 million each.

Six Flags is opening 7 new roller coasters this year, in addition to new water rides and other attractions. The company has also lowered ticket prices at its parks to help lure visitors with less discretionary spending.

William Schmitt, the company's investor relations representative, declined to comment on the stock movement earlier in the session. He was not available for comment after the market close.

Six Flags is expected to report second-quarter earnings results on Monday.

By Dan Beyers  |  July 16, 2008; 5:49 PM ET  | Category:  Dan Snyder
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