Roller Coaster Revival: Cedar Fair's Q1 Sales Soar, Despite Hurdles, Eyes Set on Thrilling Season Ahead

Zinger Key Points
  • Cedar Fair reports 20% Y/Y sales growth to $101.6 million, surpassing analyst consensus of $92.4 million.
  • Despite a net loss, attendance rises by 27% Y/Y to 1.3 million guests, attributed to increased season pass sales and improved weather.

Cedar Fair, L.P. FUN shares are trading higher after it reported first-quarter FY24 sales growth of 20% Y/Y to $101.6 million, beating the analyst consensus of $92.4 million.

The company recorded a net loss of $(133) million compared with a net loss of $(135) million a year ago quarter, including $10 million of costs related to the proposed merger with Six Flags Entertainment Corp SIX.

Attendance totaled 1.3 million guests, up 27% Y/Y, primarily due to higher season pass sales and improved weather at Knott’s Berry Farm, as well as the inclusion of the extra calendar week in the first quarter of FY24.

In-park per capita spending was $60.53, down by 6% Y/Y. The decrease was primarily due to a planned reduction in season pass pricing and a higher mix of season pass visitation at Knott’s Berry Farm. Out-of-park revenues were $23 million, up 21% Y/Y, in the quarter.

During the quarter, the parks had 117 operating days compared to 161 prior year quarter.

Adjusted EBITDA was a loss of $(97) million versus $(101) million a year ago. As of March 31, 2024, cash and cash equivalents of $35 million.

Distribution: The board approved a quarterly cash distribution of $0.30 per LP unit, payable on June 19 to unitholders of record on June 5.

Cedar Fair President and CEO Richard Zimmerman said, “Our highly marketable capital investment program has created widespread pre-season excitement, which has helped drive up season pass sales nearly 250,000 units through the first four months of the year. We are optimistic that these positive trends, combined with tailwinds in other demand channels such as group bookings and reservations at our resort properties, position us to deliver another outstanding year for Cedar Fair in 2024.”

Commenting on the proposed merger with Six Flags, Zimmerman concluded, “Both Cedar Fair and Six Flags continue to work constructively with the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) in its review of the merger, having complied fully with the DOJ’s Second Request received in January.”

Price Action: FUN shares are up 6.97% at $43.69 at the last check Thursday. 

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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