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Cedar Fair reports smaller first-quarter loss

SANDUSKY, Ohio — Theme park operator Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. said Thursday that its loss narrowed in the first quarter as its revenue from season pass and group sales improved.

The operator of Cedar Point, Kings Island and other parks, based in Sandusky, Ohio, reported a loss of $66 million, or $1.18 per share, compared with a loss of $74 million, or $1.53 per share, a year ago. The first quarter is the weakest for theme park operators because some parks aren't open in the first three months of the year.

Revenue grew 5 percent to $28.2 million.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected a loss of 69 cents per share on revenue of $28 million.

Cedar Fair said it's encouraged by growth in season pass sales and group business at its parks driven by increased marketing.

It expects adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for the full year between $385 million and $395 million on revenue of between $385 million and $395 million. Analysts expect $372.4 million on revenue of $1.03 billion.

Shares fell 28 cents to $30.64 in morning trading.

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