The Walt Disney Company (DIS), Cedar Fair, L.P. (FUN): A PR Battle on the High Seas

With relation to the Blackfish documentary, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) made a fiscally and PR-prudent move when it changed the ending of “Finding Dory.” This already highly anticipated film will help boost Disney’s bottom line while exposing a weakness in SeaWorld.

If you are looking for a potentially better investment option in the amusement park industry, one might want to take a look at Cedar Fair, L.P. (NYSE:FUN). Cedar Fair, L.P. (NYSE:FUN) is arguably a two-dimensional stock as opposed to the one-dimensional SeaWorld, since Cedar Fair, L.P. (NYSE:FUN) parks are a big draw for local visitors. Cedar Fair, L.P. (NYSE:FUN) has a much better track record of generating consistent streams of cash.  As fellow Motley Fool writer Anh Hoang explains,

Cedar Fair is a publicly traded limited partnership, operating around 11 amusement parks, four outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels, serving more than 23 million visitors in 2012.  

In the past ten years, Cedar Fair has managed to generate an increasing cash flow. While operating cash flow increased from $135 million in 2003 to $286 million in 2012, its free cash flow rose from $95 million to $190 million during the same period.

If investors are craving for good yields, they should choose Cedar Fair…due to its high dividend yield, reasonable leverage and the low valuation.

So, what we have seen is that the “public relations battle on the high seas” between the Blackfish movie makers and SeaWorld will hurt SeaWorld’s reputation in the short term. Safer long-term picks can be found in The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) and Cedar Fair, L.P. (NYSE:FUN). While SeaWorld does have a nice dividend, and I have always enjoyed visiting the park in San Diego, I do believe that SeaWorld is not a stock that investors should pour money into at this time.

The article A Public Relations Battle on the High Seas originally appeared on and is written by Evan Buck.

Evan Buck has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney.

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