As much as SeaWorld's drop means to its investors, it is and has always been a second- or third-tier player in markets otherwise dominated by Disney and Universal.
SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., criticized by animal-rights groups over its use of killer whales in shows, reported third-quarter profit that fell more than analysts estimated as fewer tourists visited during the peak season.
Earnings excluding some items shrank to $1.01 a share, Orlando, Florida-based SeaWorld said today in a statement. The per-share results missed the $1.13 average of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue fell to $495.8 million, missing projections of $496.4 million.
Attendance was 8.4 million, a half million fewer than a year earlier. The decline for the third quarter, typically the biggest of the year for SeaWorld, underscored the impact the company is experiencing since the release of “Blackfish,” a critical documentary about its performing orcas. Three airlines have cut ties to the theme-park operator in recent months.
SeaWorld shares fell 3.5 percent to $17.94 at 7:33 a.m. in early trading in New York. The shares of the company, which is 22 percent owned by the private equity firm Blackstone Group LP, have declined 35 percent this year.
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Photo Credit: Southwest Airlines celebrated 25 years of partnership with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, on Thursday, June 20, 2013. It severed the relationship this summer. Stephen M. Keller / Southwest Airlines
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