Is This the Comeback SeaWorld Has Been Waiting For?

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SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) released its second-quarter financial results early on Monday. The company said that it had $0.34 in earnings per share (EPS) and $391.9 million in revenue, which compares with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of $0.27 in EPS on revenue of $371.4 million. The same period of last year reportedly had a net loss of $2.05 per share and $376.75 million in revenue.

Management believes that the improved quarterly attendance results were from a combination of factors, including new pricing strategies, new marketing and communications initiatives and the anticipation and reception of new rides, attractions and events.

During the quarter, the company recorded $225.81 million in revenues for admissions and $166.12 million in revenues for food and merchandise.

On the books, SeaWorld’s cash and cash equivalents totaled $33.45 million at the end of the quarter, up from $33.18 million at the end of the previous fiscal year.

The company did not issue any guidance in the report. However, the consensus estimates call for $1.00 in EPS and $453.32 million in revenue for the third quarter.

John Reilly, interim CEO, commented:

We are pleased with our strong second quarter financial results and the continued momentum we see in the business. The results were driven by our new strategic pricing strategies, new marketing and communications initiatives and the positive reception of our new rides, attractions and events. In addition, we continued to experience a double-digit increase in season pass sales revenue and an increase in total revenue per capita driven by a 6.5% increase in in-park per capita spending.  We are particularly pleased with our second quarter attendance growth, which more than offset the negative impacts from unfavorable weather across several of our markets in the quarter, and the earlier timing of the Easter holiday in 2018, which benefitted the first quarter at the expense of the second quarter.

Shares of SeaWorld closed Friday at $21.13, with a consensus analyst price target of $17.95 and a 52-week range of $10.42 to $23.06. Following the announcement, the stock is up about 14% at $24.14 in early trading indications Monday.