Six Flags shares rise on Snyder stock buys

Tuesday, August 31st 2004, 12:50 pm
By: News On 6

Shares of amusement park company Six Flags rose more than 12 percent Tuesday morning, a day after a company filing revealed Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has acquired nearly 9 percent of the company's stock.

Shares of Oklahoma City-based Six Flags traded at $5 at midday on the New York Stock Exchange, up 54 cents on the day.

Between Aug. 11 and Aug. 30, Snyder bought 8.15 million shares of the company for roughly $34.5 million, according to a filing Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In the filing, Snyder says he believes that Six Flags shares are undervalued, and that company officials have not done enough to outpace competitors in the amusement park industry.

``The company's management has failed to implement measures to increase revenues and decrease expenses, and its failure to do so has caused the company to be continuously outperformed by its peers,'' the filing reads.

Snyder says he may seek a spot on the company's board, and could push Six Flags to merge or sell part of its assets.

Snyder, of Bethesda, Md., did not immediately return a message left at his Redskins office in Ashburn, Va. A message left for Six Flags officials was also not immediately returned.

The Wall Street Journal, citing ``people close'' to Snyder, reported Tuesday that the Redskins owner wanted to revamp Six Flags marketing through techniques he used to make the Redskins one of the most valuable teams in professional sports.

The paper reported Snyder hopes to increase outdoor advertising for Six Flags parks, and may even try to get the NFL Super Bowl most valuable player to say he is going to Six Flags instead of Disney World.

Shares of Six Flags fell in July when the company reported that attendance was 4 percent lower than the same time last year, prompting the company to lower its outlook. The stock traded at around $7 per share before the news, but fell to about $4 per share in late August.

Snyder bought the Redskins in 1999 from Jack Kent Cooke for $800 million. In 2000, he sold his marketing company, Snyder Communications, to the French company Havas SA for $2 billion.