🎢 Six Flags ties the Knott

Friday, November 3, 2023 by Snacks
Makin’ good use of that Wonder Woman license (Hans Gutknecht/Getty Images)

Makin’ good use of that Wonder Woman license (Hans Gutknecht/Getty Images)

Makin’ good use of that Wonder Woman license (Hans Gutknecht/Getty Images)

Makin’ good use of that Wonder Woman license (Hans Gutknecht/Getty Images)

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Yesterday’s Market Moves
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Hey Snackers,

Cheesy intro incoming: Norway’s Nidelven Blå was named the world’s best cheese of 2023. Judges chose from 4K+ submissions to crown the blue-veined block. Add “Cheese Judge” to the list of things we wanna Brie when we grow up.

The S&P 500 had its best day since May as investors celebrated Wednesday’s interest-rate Pow-se. Earnings szn is in full swing, while investors also have eyes on today’s US jobs report.

🧠 Turkey talking points: Take our latest Snacks Seven quiz to test your Snackspertise of our latest biz news. It’s not too early to study up on neutral Thanksgiving-dinner convo topics.

Thrill

1. Six Flags plans to merge with Knott’s owner Cedar Fair to create a theme-park powerhouse

Charlie Brown meets Wile E. Coyote… in Knott’s Scary Farm? Yesterday theme-park operators Six Flags and Cedar Fair (which owns Knott’s Berry Farm) said they’d join in an $8B deal. The merger would put 27 amusement parks, 15 water parks, and 9 resorts across Canada, the US, and Mexico under one roof and stock ticker.

  • IP party: Six Flags holds licenses to DC Comics and Looney Tunes characters like Tweety Bird and Batman, while Cedar Fair has the Peanuts (see: Linus walkin’ around the park).

  • Hard to get: In 2019, Six Flags tried to buy Cedar Fair but was rejected. Last year, rival SeaWorld tried the same with a $3.4B offer, but was also told no.

  • #Synergy: Last quarter, attendance at Six Flags’ jumped 16%, and Cedar Fair's stayed relatively flat. But together, the parks could save more than $120M+.

Not-so-amusing parks… Theme-park revenue has grown this year as operators like Disney hike prices for everything from admission and popcorn to Mickey merch. But park-goers are hitting a wall: Disney's parks-and-experiences revenue growth slowed to 13% last quarter (after doubling last year) with foot traffic slowing at parks like its marquee Florida Disney World. In July, Universal Studios’ Florida parks saw slumping wait times. SeaWorld’s visitors also dipped in the first half of the year, despite record revenue.

THE TAKEAWAY

More IP, more party… Since Six Flags and Cedar Fair operate in different parts of the US, combining businesses (and IP licenses) could help boost attendance. While media businesses like Disney’s are lagging behind, park operators are cashing in on IP beyond screens: Disney has planned $60B worth of new investments in its parks-and-cruises biz, and Mattel’s opening a Barbie World in Arizona next year.

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CRATER

2. Execs of crypto coin SafeMoon were arrested as industry whistleblowing grows louder

Maybe not so safe… At its 2021 peak, the memecoin SafeMoon (which told investors that its price would go “safely to the moon”) had a $5.7B market cap. This week the SEC alleged that SafeMoon’s founder and two of its C-suite execs had been running a “fraudulent scheme.” The regulator said they wash-traded coins to make the token appear more popular than it was, and tried to prop up its price with bulk buys. The Justice Department arrested SafeMoon’s CEO and CTO (the founder couldn’t be… found) and charged all three with fraud and money laundering.

  • Back to Earth: SafeMoon’s price blasted up 55,000% in the spring of 2021, but the highs were short-lived.

  • Lunar luxury: The SEC says the three execs took extravagant vacays and bought pricey real estate and sports cars (McClarens, not Lambos) with their gains.

Blow the whistle… The charges come after lawmakers and regulators promised to step up enforcement in an industry thawing out from crypto winter. They’re getting help: this week, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said that it received a record # of whistleblower reports this fiscal year, and that a “majority” of those reports involved crypto. The tips ranged from allegations of pump-and-dump scams to rug pulls. FYI: whistleblowers can get 10 to 30% of any penalties collected as a reward.

THE TAKEAWAY

The call’s coming from inside the house… The crypto industry has struggled to shed its “Wild West” reputation, but now lots of members are calling for reform. The industry is pushing legislators for crypto-friendly regulation, and practically cheered on Sam Bankman-Fried’s fraud trial. Its latest play toward respectability: scores of applications for spot bitcoin ETFs, which analysts say could drive institutional investment if approved.

SBFTX

3. The Crypto Catch-Up…

⚖️ Judgy… A jury found former FTX boss Sam Bankman-Fried guilty of fraud following the collapse of his exchange and the loss of $10B in customer funds. Once hailed as crypto’s “White Knight,” SBF now faces up to 115 years in prison.

📸 Flashy… Bitcoin saw a “golden cross” as its 50-day moving average passed above its 200-day moving average, which some traders interpret as bullish. Bitcoin’s price has more than doubled this year, and analysts point to ETF excitement.

💰 Spendy… Coinbase reported its seventh straight quarterly loss while Q3 trading volume sagged. One bright spot: Coinbase’s USDC stablecoin partnership with Circle saw the OG exchange earn more $$ as interest rates rose.

What else we’re Snackin’

  • PSL: Pumpkin spice szn has been good to Starbucks: its stock jumped 9% after the latte legend whipped up strong sales growth, fueled by pricier drinks like PSLs and cold-foam cold brews (especially in the US).

  • Highlight: Budget beauty brand E.l.f. lifted its annual guidance after quarterly sales rose 76% from a year earlier. The no-frills brand has benefited as thrifty Gen Z’ers reach for its $8 lip oil.

  • Airbnblues: Airbnb missed revenue expectations for Q3 as the postpandemic travel surge subsides. This summer was a huge vacay season, but “revenge travel” may be cooling with the temperatures.

  • Tunnel: Peloton can’t outpedal its troubles: the fitness co’s quarterly sales dropped as it struggled to spin up subscription revenue. Now it’s focusing on its growing bike-rental biz and relaunching its treadmill.

  • Fresh: DoorDash’s revenue climbed 27% in Q3 as the food-delivery app notched a record # of orders (not just tacos; groceries boomed too). Rival Uber will share how its Eats biz is faring next week.

Snack Fact of the Day

The average cost of childcare in the US is up 32% from 2019

Friday

  • October unemployment rate

  • Earnings expected from BMW and Cinemark

Authors of this Snacks own bitcoin and shares of: Disney, Mattel, Starbucks, and Uber

*Advertiser's disclosure: This is a paid advertisement for Autonomix’s Regulation A+ Offering. Please read the offering circular and related risks at invest.autonomix.com.

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