6 General Entertainment Stocks For Mid-Summer

Michael Teague  |

It is almost one month after the solstice and the summer season is in full swing.

As New York City gets cooked under a brutal heat wave, with temperatures for Thursday edging near to 100 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity at 35 percent, the city’s residents will naturally attempt to beat the heat, whether avoiding it by heading indoors to museums, movie theatres and the like, or embracing it outside in parks, the front porches of brownstones, or other venues.

As for Wall Street, the summer heat and humidity is currently mingling with the mid-year earnings season, not to mention constant anxiety over any and every word breathed publicly by Federal Reserve officials, despite Chairman Ben Bernanke’s reassurances that the central bank is not in fact going to abandon markets before the economy is doing much better than it currently is.

But New York City is not the only place that will sizzle under the 2013 summer heat. Higher temperatures are expected from coast to coast, and Americans all over the country will be looking for ways to distract themselves from what in many instances could turn out to be downright abusive weather conditions.

The performance of service sector stocks can reflect seasonal upticks in business, though the full extent of how companies managed to convert increased foot-traffic and tourism into bigger revenues and profits will probably not become clear until the next round of quarterly earnings reports in the fall. The general entertainment sub-sector in particular could a good place, though by no means the only place, to look for stocks of companies that are well-positioned to make gains on increased summer activity.

The following is an overview of six stocks belonging to general entertainment industry companies that are sure to be involved in the summer planning of many consumers, both across the country and across the world:

Premier Exhibitions Inc. (PRXI) – The Atlanta, Georgia is a subsidiary of RMS Titanic Inc., the exclusive steward of the famously sunken ship. Premier is responsible for other well-known exhibitions such as “Bodies” and “Bodies Revealed,” as well as “Tutankhamun” and “Cleopatra.” The company has a market cap of $88.21 million, with shares trading at $1.80, down 40 percent year-to-date.

Orbitz Worldwide Inc. (OWW) – The well-known Chicago, Illinois online travel site has a market cap of $1.09 billion, with shares trading for $10.24, up a whopping 276 percent in 2013.

Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp. (VAC) – The Orlando, Florida operator of time-shares and resort spots worldwide runs three different high-end vacation destination brands with the Marriott Vacation Club, the Ritz-Carlton Destination Club, and the Grad Residences by Marriott. The company has a market cap of $1.61 billion, with shares currently trading at $45.78 a piece, up 10 percent in 2013, and 55 percent over the past 12 months.

Cedar Fair L.P. (FUN) – The Sandusky, Ohio Cedar Fair Entertainment Company runs theme parks across the country as well as in Canada, most notably Knott’s Berry Farm in Orange County, California, as well as further north with the Great America theme park in Santa Clara. The company’s parks will surely be on many short lists for summer vacation destinations. Cedar Fair has a market cap of $2.35 billion, with shares trading for $42.13, up 30 percent year-to-date.

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (SIX) – The well-known operator of Six Flags theme parks across the US, as well as Canada and Mexico has a market cap of $3.67 billion, with shares trading at $36.04, up nearly 21 percent in 2013, and 43 percent over the past 12 months. The company’s water parks in particular are likely to provide many folks with much needed reprieve from the summer heat.

Carnival Plc (CUK) – The UK-based operator of otherwise popular cruise ships has dealt with two extremely severe scandals in as many years, but has somehow managed to avoid going under. The company has a market cap of $29.5 billion, with shares trading at $38.07, down less than 1 percent in 2013, and actually up more than 18 percent over the past 12 months. Aside from the highly publicized incidents involving colossal ship malfunctions, the US coast guard has responded to some 90 incidents involving Carnival’s boats over the past 5 years.

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