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SeaWorld stock takes another plunge

Earnings suffer from orca controversy

Still image from Blackfish
Still image from Blackfish

Stock value of SeaWorld Entertainment closed today (November 12) at $16.85, down 9.41 percent. The company reported lower attendance for the second straight quarter. It had 8.4 million visitors in the third quarter of this year, compared with 8.9 million in the same quarter of the previous year.

In this year's third quarter, revenue dropped to $87.2 million, down from $120.7 million a year earlier. Earnings per share dropped to $1 from $1.34.

SeaWorld has been the subject of negative attention for some time over its orca shows. A bill in California would ban orcas from shows. SeaWorld blamed negative press plus competitive pressures in Florida.

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Still image from Blackfish
Still image from Blackfish

Stock value of SeaWorld Entertainment closed today (November 12) at $16.85, down 9.41 percent. The company reported lower attendance for the second straight quarter. It had 8.4 million visitors in the third quarter of this year, compared with 8.9 million in the same quarter of the previous year.

In this year's third quarter, revenue dropped to $87.2 million, down from $120.7 million a year earlier. Earnings per share dropped to $1 from $1.34.

SeaWorld has been the subject of negative attention for some time over its orca shows. A bill in California would ban orcas from shows. SeaWorld blamed negative press plus competitive pressures in Florida.

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Comments
12

There was plenty the matter with "Blackfish" as a film, but SeaWorld's shortcomings are so much worse that it's no wonder stock is plummeting. Holding marine creatures captive and putting them onstage for "shows" with human "trainers" is no longer an acceptable business model. SeaWorld sounds like Carl DeMaio -- blaming the press and competition. SeaWorld needs to change or die: it's what capitalism is all about.

Nov. 12, 2014

monaghan: I think you are right. SeaWorld's shtick has changed, but not enough. "Blackfish" certainly called attention to the abuse of orcas, but there are other problems at this company. Its stock went public the second time for a ridiculous price, then rose. Reality is catching up. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2014

Ivars Bezdechi: SeaWorld fought "Blackfish" very hard, in my judgment. But the documentary, which may or may not have been flawed, registered with a certain audience. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2014

I think the anti-SeaWorld momentum is going to be difficult to turn around. This generation of young parents are more concerned about animal rights. There are tighter budgets which leave choices like LegoLand, the Zoo and other more eco & animal friendly entertainment options which trump SeaWorld.

What can SeaWorld do to increase attendance? Lower their ticket prices? That will make profits suffer as well. It's obvious people are voting with their wallets.

For stock speculators, this looks like a great short play because the tide is against SeaWorld improving in the long run. They will probably get a little boost from the holidays, but who knows. The trend is clear, tourists are not making SeaWorld a must see.

Nov. 12, 2014

Ponzi: You make excellent points. Parents are more concerned about animal rights these days. Of course, there are many who think zoos are cruel, too. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 12, 2014

Jude Mathis (first comment): One can also make the point that animals in zoos belong in their natural habitats. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 13, 2014

Jude Mathis (second comment): I am not sure any creature deserves to be a slave in cramped quarters. Even a murderer given a life sentence should not be a slave -- in cramped quarters, possibly, but not a slave. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 13, 2014

Christine Mann (1): But where will you get the most public attention? Attacking SeaWorld or Scripps biotech scientists. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 14, 2014

Christine Mann (2): But I don't think those criticizing SeaWorld really have their eyes on that real estate. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 14, 2014

Alex Rivera: Morrissey? Expatiate, please. Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 14, 2014

Erika Brooke Galo: Since I don't comprehend Rivera's statement, how can I comprehend yours? Best, Don Bauder

Nov. 14, 2014

Sea World needs to completely stop using Orcas and dolphins (in other words, the larger, more intelligent animals) and just stick with its smaller exhibits, and it should do better. I am a mom and I love animals and they need to hire someone like me to advise them about what is animal cruelty and what isn't. They really need help with this!! It is a beautiful park and doesn't need to be closed down, it needs to be revamped and user friendly. Also, the zoo needs to do away with its small enclosures for its larger animals. It is the same problem there too.

Nov. 19, 2014

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