Cedar Fair Theme Park Attendance Worse Than Expected as Q2 Revenue Evaporates

Cedar Fair (NYSE: FUN) reported second-quarter earnings this morning that showed attendance at their reopened amusement park venues was lower than expected.

All of its parks were shut down in March as the COVID-19 outbreak spread, but it began reopening some of them late in the quarter as it was able. Instead of the 827 operating days across its parks it expected, or even the 726 days it had last year, Cedar Fair had just 39 operating days. Attendance plummeted by 8 million visitors as people did not show up in the numbers it anticipated.

The theme park operator suggested the timing of its reopenings coincided with a rise in COVID-19 cases, leading people to avoid coming out.

Abandoned bumper car ride at theme park

Image source: Getty Images.

The no-fun zone

Revenue for Cedar Fair all but evaporated during the second quarter, plunging 98% to just $7 million from $436 million last year. That resulted in an operating loss of $142 million compared to an operating profit of $102 million in 2019, though it was offset by a steep decline in operating expenses. Net losses came in at $133 million, or $2.35 per share.

It's not alone with its dismal parks showing. Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS) reported a rare loss under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) of $2.61 per share, though on an adjusted basis, it managed to post an $0.08 per share profit.

On itsearnings conference call Disney CEO Bob Chapek said rising coronavirus cases sparked "trepidation" in travelers, leading to "higher than expected" levels of cancellations.

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Rich Duprey has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends Cedar Fair and recommends the following options: long January 2021 $60 calls on Walt Disney and short October 2020 $125 calls on Walt Disney. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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