GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (AP) -- Amusement-park operator Six Flags Entertainment Corp. said Monday that it took a smaller loss in the first quarter as its attendance rose 41 percent compared with last year.
Shares of Six Flags gained $3.23, or 4.5 percent, to $74.48 in morning trading.
Six Flags said about 1.8 million guests came to its parks during the first three months of the year. It attributed about half the gains to earlier spring breaks, as some schools scheduled those vacations in March instead of April. The company added that guests spent more money at the park, and Six Flags was more successful at selling season passes.
Analysts have cited to Six Flags' efforts to sell season passes and new attractions as reasons for optimism about its business.
Six Flags said it lost $62.5 million, or $1.23 per share, in the latest quarter after losing $115.1 million, or $2.11 per share, in the first quarter of 2012. Revenue grew 32 percent, to $87.5 million from $66.4 million.
Analysts were expecting net income of $2.60 per share and $143.9 million in revenue, according to FactSet.
The company said revenue from admissions rose 41 percent to $41.5 million, and revenue from food and merchandise increased 33 percent to $32.8 million.