SeaWorld stock plummets as attendance drops

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SAN DIEGO – SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. said its earnings fell 84% in its quarter ended in June–traditionally one of its strongest–as attendance dropped following record Texas rainfall and continued challenges in California.

“Our attendance for the second quarter declined due to the timing of Easter, record levels of rainfall in Texas and continued brand challenges in California. These factors were partially offset by improved demand in our other park locations, including Florida,” Chief Executive Joel Manby said. The company said it would have two new coaster additions for 2016 and is focused on resolving its “brand challenges” in California.

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. shares SEAS, -1.58% fell 5% in premarket trade, after the company reported weaker-than-expected profit and revenue for the second quarter.

The theme park operator said net income was at $5.8 million, or 7 cents a share. T his is down down from $37.4 million, or 43 cents a share, in the previous year. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 22 cents, which is well below the FactSet consensus of 40 cents.

SeaWorld’s Revenue fell to $391.6 million from $405.2 million, compared with a FactSet consensus of $397 million. Attendance fell to 6.478 million from 6.584 million.

The company has struggled since the release of the “Blackfish” documentary that alleged cruelty in holding Orcas in captivity. SeaWorld has worked to overcome the fallout with a new television ad campaign.

“Early feedback on our campaign has been positive, however, we recognize that fully resolving our brand challenges in California will require sustained focus and commitment to correct misinformation,” Chief Executive Joel Manby said in a statement. Shares are down about 19% in the last three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 1%.

You can read this article in its entirety on Market Watch.

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