Six Flags CEO Comments on Financial Condition
Six Flags, Inc. (NYSE: PKS), recently held a press conference providing the financial community with its financial guidance on its likely future performance. ARN&R was, of course, there.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud to welcome each and every one one of you to the Six Flags 2003 Financial Guidance Press Conference,” began Chairman and CEO Kieran Burke. “It is with great pleasure that I begin with a review of our past performance.”
“In 2000, in our second full year of operations after Premier Parks acquired Six Flags our net income was a negative $75 million dollars. In 2001, we surpassed those results and lost $85 million dollars. In 2002, our best year yet, we lost an astounding $128 million dollars. The 3 year total of our losses is an impressive $288 million,” Burke concluded to rousing applause.
“Additionally, in 2002, my total compensation was $1.08 million. Our CFO James Dannhauser earned $649,000, and our COO Gary Story earned $727,000. This is a total of $2.025 million in compensation for our top 3 executives in fiscal 2002, and we're hoping to top even that this year. We're looking into some innovative ways to pay our park employees even less; right now, we're considering paying them in potatoes and other inexpensive food products."
“We are all aware that new rides and attractions are an important part of growing our business and eventually making money, to the exclusion of spending money on anything that might actually enhance our guests' visits like cleaning up the human excrement. We spent $334 million in 2000 for new rides and attractions, with $160 million in 2001 and $146 million in 2002 systemwide.”
“Our management team continues to cut operating budgets and raise prices for in-park purchases, admissions, and our favorite, parking fees. This we feel drastically reduces the pleasure of our guests due to closed rides, minimal capacity, severely reduced staffing, and the priceless feeling of being completely robbed. We're especially proud of that."
“Finally, our stock price hit $30 in 2000, $12 in 2001, and the all-time low of $3 in 2002."
“The executive management is very proud or our results. We expect to lose even more money on a systemwide basis this year. We have further cut spending on new rides and attractions. We have slashed budgets to the point where our management at the park level can hardly afford to buy toilet paper for their own offices. Best of all, our guest satisfaction is at an all-time low – even worse when Bally killed people in droves at Six Flags.”
“In closing, I want to say thank you to each and every one of you for your continued support. Wall Street, our Board of Directors hand-picked by me, and our institutional investors have made this all possible. You all have made the three of us filthy rich while we have run a perfectly good company completely into the ground. I am proud to say that I am a graduate of the Harvard School of Law. Lawyers can accomplish anything! Thank you again for making this all possible. On your way out, please be sure to buy some more stock that Mr. Dannhauser is selling at the back door.”
MorganlyVanguardChaseWachoviaFleetSalomon Bank raised their rating on PKS stock immediately after the conference to a “STRONG BUY."