Walter Mencken 9:27 a.m., Feb. 27
SeaWorld stock tanks following poor earnings
The stock market value of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., operators of 11 theme parks nationwide including one of its namesake aquatic-themed destinations on Mission Bay, tanked yesterday after the company posted a loss of $15.9 million, or 18 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2013.
SeaWorld blamed its own high ticket prices and bad weather in the late spring and early summer months for its losses, which sent shares down as much as 13.5 percent to $31.40, according to Yahoo Finance.
The company did not acknowledge the possibility that the release of Blackfish, a documentary chronicling the problems with its use of killer whales as “modern-day circus lions” (hat tip to the Reader’s Matthew Lickona) could have also had an adverse effect on attendance. The parks have also endured protests launched by environmentalists and animal-rights activists over the last year.
Most telling, perhaps: the company would have turned a significant profit were it not for the payment of a $46.3 million dollar fee to the private equity firm Blackstone that took the company public. Subtracting that fee and other costs incurred from paying down debt before it was due, the company would have turned a 41-cent-per-share profit.
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