Shares of Six Flags Entertainment Corp. /zigman2/quotes/208050417/composite SIX +1.95% announced Thursday a dividend cut that would lower the payout by 70%, but still keep the implied yield above that of the S&P 500. The dividend announcement came as the theme park operator reported a surprise loss, provided downbeat 2020 guidance and said its chief financial officer was retiring, sending the stock plunging 21% in premarket trading. The new quarterly dividend of 25 cents a share, down from the previous payout of 83 cents a share, will be payable March 11 to shareholders of record on March 4. Based on Wednesday's stock closing price of $38.02, the new annual dividend rate implies a dividend yield of 2.63%, down from a prior yield of 8.73%, but above the implied yield for the S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.24% of 1.79%, according to FactSet. The company said its decision to cut the dividend comes as it faces a "significantly" lower revenue contribution from its international development agreements, as it terminated development agreements in China after its partner there defaulted on payment obligations, and cost headwinds. Six Flag's stock has lost 32.2% over the past 12 months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 21.6%.
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Six Flags stock hammered after surprise loss, downbeat guidance and dividend cut