SEAWORLD IS TANKING

SeaWorld just reported third-quarter net income that fell 28% from the prior year, and the theme park operator’s stock is tanking.

In premarket trade Wednesday, shares of the theme park operator were down as much as 7%.

The decline in SeaWorld shares Wednesday follows a 30% one-day decline in the stock price back in August after the company’s second-quarter earnings. SeaWorld has still been dealing with the fallout from CNN’s controversial documentary “Blackfish,” which raised concerns about SeaWorld’s treatment of its Orca whales.

In the third quarter, SeaWorld reported net income of $US87.2 million, down from $US120.7 million in the prior year. Earnings per share totaled $US1.00, down from $US1.34 a year ago and missing expectations for $US1.13.

Attendance at SeaWorld’s parks also declined year-over-year, with attendance in the third quarter totaling 8.4 million visitors, down from 8.9 million a year ago.

Revenues also decline 8%, to $US495.8 million from $US538.4 million a year ago.

In a statement, SeaWorld CEO Jim Atchison said: “Consistent with the update we provided in August, the attendance trends the Company experienced in the latter part of the second

quarter continued into the third quarter. Clearly 2014 has been a challenging year, but I am confident we are taking the necessary steps to address our near term challenges and position the Company to deliver value over the long term.”

For the full year, SeaWorld expects revenue to decline 6% to 7% against the prior year, and according to data from Yahoo Finance, Wall Street is expecting revenue to fall about 6.4% to $US1.37 billion in 2014.

In its earnings release, the company said it believed the attendance decline resulted “from a combination of factors including negative media attention in California along with a challenging competitive environment, particularly in Florida.”

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