News Column

SeaWorld stock tanks as it reports disappointing earnings

August 13, 2014

By Sandra Pedicini, Orlando Sentinel

Aug. 13--SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. reported a disappointing second quarter today, with earnings missing analysts' estimates and revenue falling at its parks.

Stock was down 24 percent in pre-market trading this morning.

Profit was $37.3 million, or 43 cents per share, for the quarter. That was an improvement over a $15.9 million net loss the year before, but it still disappointed analysts, who had expected 59 cents per share.

The company dramatically cut full-year 2014 guidance. The company said it expects revenue to be down 6 to 7 percent for the year. It expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization interest and taxes to be down 14 to 16 percent. Revenue was previously expected to be up between 2 and 4 percent and EBITDA was expected to be up between 3 percent and 6 percent.

Despite a favorable shift in the Easter holiday, attendance rose only 0.3 percent, and guests were spending less, meaning revenue of $405.2 million was less than last year's $411.3 million.

The company plans to buy back stock and cut costs, which it will invest in more theme park attractions and return to shareholders.

The company blamed lower attendance on a variety of factors, including new attractions at competitors and "a delay in the opening of one of the Company's new attractions." Its Falcon's Fury ride at Busch Gardens was supposed to debut this summer but still has no opening date.

SeaWorld said it also believes attendance was impacted by media attention on legislation in California to bar captive-killer-whale shows.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for details.


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Source: Orlando Sentinel (FL)

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