Cedar Fair 3Q net income falls, boosts dividend

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SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) -- Theme park operator Cedar Fair LP said Tuesday that its third-quarter results fell, but it said revenue improved in October and it reaffirmed its outlook for the year.

The Ohio company, also known as Cedar Fair Entertainment Co., raised its annual payout to limited partners by 56 percent to $2.50 per unit. It said in September it was on track to distribute more than $2 per unit to its investors in 2013, up from $1.60 per unit this year.

Its stock rose 3 percent in afternoon trading after briefly touching an all-time high.

The company, which runs Cedar Point and Knott's Berry Farm among other parks, reported its net income fell to $140.7 million, or $2.51 per unit, for the July-September period from $152.2 million, or $2.73 per unit, a year earlier.

Revenue slipped 3 percent to $553.4 million, driven by declines in ticket sales, food, merchandise and games. Revenue from its hotels rooms and campgrounds improved.

The company said that in October -- the month after the third quarter ended -- revenue rose 4 percent as guests spent more inside parks while admission sales were flat.

It still expects revenue for 2012 of $1.06 billion to $1.08 billion.

Cedar Fair units rose $1.23, or 3.4 percent, to $37.03 in afternoon trading after rising as high as $37.69 earlier in the day. That was their highest level on record, according to FactSet.