Vote of Confidence for Six Flags

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder buys a 9% stake in the park operator.
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Six Flags


rose early Tuesday on word that Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder believes the park operator can be saved.

Snyder, who made his fortune in advertising, has spent $34.5 million since early August to acquire a roughly 9% stake in Six Flags, a federal filing shows. The purchases followed a July earnings warning that left the stock hovering around an all-time low of $3.36.

Tuesday morning, Six Flags' shares were up 44 cents, or about 10%, to $4.90.

A bet on Six Flags currently equates to a wager that the company won't go out of business. According to Thomson First Call, the company is expected to lose money through 2006 on virtually nonexistent revenue growth. Its credit rating is mired well below investment grade and was slashed again two weeks ago at Standard & Poor's. The shares have few fans among Wall Street analysts.

The stock does, however, show up in a number of well-regarded, value-conscious portfolios, according to the most recent information available, among them the Weitz Group and Fidelity's Puritan fund.

According to a

Securities and Exchange Commission

filing, Snyder plans to take an active role at the world's second-largest amusement park company, and could seek a seat on the board. Snyder also said his Six Flags stake could rise to a level where he would control the company.