City Desk

Six Flagging

The third-quarter earnings report released today by Dan Snyder's Six Flags held a cluster bomb's worth of crappy news for shareholders.

MarketWatch, an online newsletter owned by Dow-Jones, summarized that "the theme park operator reported across-the-board slumps in profit, revenue and visitation" and that "growth for the foreseeable future is looking sluggish to boot."

Not quite the picture of prosperity Snyder painted for shareholders during his rise to chairman of the board at Six Flags. In an Oct. 24, 2005 letter to Six Flags shareholders, Snyder ridiculed the performance of former chairman *Kieran Burke*, and called for Burke's removal. At the core of Snyder's bid to get rid of Burke was his argument that the stock price was flagging:

"Stockholders would have been better off hiding their money under a mattress" than investing in the company under Burke, Snyder wrote.

Within months of the missive, Burke was out and Snyder was in.

On the day that letter was registered with the SEC, a share of Six Flags stock was trading at $7.35.

As of this afternoon, the stock price had dropped 70.2 percent since Snyder's documented trashing of his predecessor.

I'm no finance guy, but, using the same blunt, simplistic theme Snyder used to depose his predecessor, let me try to add some perspective about how awful things have gotten for Six Flags during Snyder's reign: Rather than buying into Snyder's vision, stockholders would have been better off hiding half of their money under the mattress, then using the other half to build an effigy of the Redskins owner, and burning it.

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