Cedar Fair (NYSE:FUN) reported second-quarter financial results on Aug. 1.

The amusement park master limited partnership experienced weaker-than-expected attendance during its early summer season, prompting the company to warn that it may miss its full-year financial targets. 

Rain falling on a red umbrella on an empty street

More rain meant more red in Cedar Fair's second-quarter results. Image source: Getty Images.

Cedar Fair results: The raw numbers


Q2 2018

Q2 2017

Year-Over-Year Change

Net revenue

$380.3 million

$392.8 million


Adjusted EBITDA

$127.0 million

$149.7 million


Net loss per unit




Data source: Cedar Fair Q2 2018 earnings press release.

Mid-year results

Net revenue for the first two quarters of 2018 fell 1% year over year to $435 million. A 2% decline in attendance -- to 8.7 million guests -- more than offset a 1% increase in average in-park per capita spending (to $45.42) and a 2% rise in out-of-park revenue (to $56 million).

Cedar Fair blamed inclement weather and delayed ride openings for the attendance shortfall.

"We believe disruptive weather patterns have contributed negatively to our year-to-date attendance, however, we have launched incremental research efforts to better understand market-specific results," CEO Richard Zimmerman said in a press release.

The growth in in-park spending was driven by higher food and beverage sales, while higher occupancy rates and average daily room rates at Cedar Fair's resort hotels drove the increase in out-of-park revenue.

Still, the overall revenue decline combined with higher operating costs -- which were brought about in part by minimum-wage rate hikes -- resulted in an operating loss of $7 million during the first six months of 2018, compared to an operating profit of $19 million in the prior-year period. Meanwhile, net loss increased to $64 million, or $1.14 per unit, from $33 million, or $0.60 per unit, in the year-ago period.

All told, adjusted EBITDA -- which helps to highlight Cedar Fair's park-level operating results since it excludes the impact of foreign exchange, interest rate swaps, debt extinguishment, stock-based compensation, and certain other charges -- decreased 27% to $62 million.

Looking forward 

Cedar Fair warned that its first-half performance, combined with weak preliminary sales results in July, could make it difficult to hit its full-year financial forecast, which had called for net revenue of $1.34 billion to $1.38 billion and adjusted EBITDA of $475 million to $495 million.

Yet Zimmerman said that the company has several initiatives underway to help right the ship.

"These initiatives, combined with our very popular Halloween events, WinterFest celebrations at five parks, including the recent addition of Kings Dominion, and the continued strength of long-lead demand indicators, such as group bookings and resort reservations, give us confidence that we are well positioned heading into the second half of 2018," Zimmerman said.

And despite these setbacks, Cedar Fair reiterated its long-term distribution growth target.

"We remain confident in the resiliency of our business model, the experience of our management team, the strength of our balance sheet and the outlook for growth in the business long term," Zimmerman said. "As a result, we remain committed to delivering a steady 4% annual increase in the cash distribution to unitholders while continuing to invest in our business at a responsible level."