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Credit Suisse initiates coverage of Six Flags

The Associated Press

Credit Suisse analyst Joel Simkins initiated coverage of Six Flags Entertainment Corp. Friday with an "Outperform" rating, saying the theme park operator could have a transformational year ahead.

THE OPINION: Six Flags filed for bankruptcy protection in 2009 after years of heavy debt, poor management and multiple changes in ownership. The company emerged in mid-2010 and has been increasing its revenue since then.

The analyst said in a research note that the company could have a transformational 2013 amusement park season ahead as it has new attractions that could improve attendance. It also has improved its season pass sales, reduced its discounting and improved revenue from other parts of its business, such as dining.

Simkins this is not the old Six Flags — management has willingness to rethink its business model and a track record of success. He also said that demand is up and the company is just scratching the surface on its opportunities for season pass-based growth.

THE STOCK: The analyst issued an $87 price target for the company's share, 22 percent above its closing price of $71.25 Friday. The company's shares are up roughly 55 percent since this time last year.