Attendance declines ease at SeaWorld; new cost cuts coming
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — SeaWorld was able to staunch falling attendance at parks in the third quarter after an extended and bruising fight with animal rights activists that led to the winding down of its orca breeding program.
While it fell well short of most profit expectations, the change in trajectory for attendance at SeaWorld parks sent shares up 4 percent in early trading. The company’s stock is still down 25 percent for the year, yet it has been moving higher for three months now.
Attendance at its parks overall was relatively flat because of the impact of Hurricane Hermine in Latin America. That storm hit the Florida panhandle in early September. Yet attendance rose 1.3 percent in Florida thanks to new attractions. Attendance at its California and Texas parks the past nine months are showing improvement over the same nine-month period in 2015, the company said.
The company also announced new initiatives to cut costs by $65 million, with $40 million of those reductions to be realized by the end of 2018.
On a per-share basis, the Orlando, Florida, company reported a profit of 77 cents, or 29 cents short of Wall Street projections, according to a poll of industry analysts by Zacks Investment Research. SeaWorld posted earnings of $1.14 per share in the third quarter last year.
Total net income for the quarter was $65.7 million, compared with about $98 million last year.
Revenues of $485.3 million were better than expectations $482.7 million from analysts. The company reported total revenue of $497 million for the same period last year.
Shares of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. rose 56 to $14.81.
This story was generated in part by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on SEAS at https://www.zacks.com/ap/SEAS
Keywords: SeaWorld, Earnings Report