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NEW YORK — Shares of Six Flags Inc. are lower Friday on growing speculation that the theme park operator may be forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after the company said it couldn’t meet a looming financing obligation.

NEW YORK — Shares of Six Flags Inc. are lower Friday on growing speculation that the theme park operator may be forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after the company said it couldn’t meet a looming financing obligation.

Six Flags shares have traded under $1 since last September, and they lost two cents, or 10.5 percent, to 17 cents in morning trading.

In its annual report Wednesday, the company said Chapter 11 is possible if it can’t reach a deal to restructure its debt. On Tuesday, Six Flags said it doesn’t expect to have $287.5 million in cash to redeem its preferred income redeemable shares, or PIERS.

Six Flags says a Chapter 11 filing could occur "well in advance" of the PIERS’s maturity on Aug. 15.

Six Flags’ operations include amusement parks in Gurnee, north of Chicago, and in St. Louis.

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