SeaWorld Q3 Turnaround Not Enough for Investors

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When SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) released its third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Monday, the firm said that it had $1.13 in earnings per share (EPS) and $483.2 million in revenue. Consensus estimates had called for $1.08 in EPS and $474.1 million in revenue, and in the same period of last year, it said it had EPS of $0.64 on revenue of $437.7 million.

During the latest quarter, attendance increased by 0.7 million guests, or 9.7% year over year, to 8.3 million guests. Management believes the improved attendance results from a combination of factors, including the new pricing strategies, new marketing and communications initiatives and the positive reception of new rides, attractions and events.

Revenue was positively affected by the strong increases in attendance and in-park per capita spending (defined as food, merchandise and other revenue divided by total attendance), partially offset by lower admission per capita (defined as admissions revenue divided by total attendance). The decline in admission per capita primarily results from the impact of new pricing strategies.

SeaWorld did not offer any guidance in the report. However, the consensus estimates call for a net loss of $0.16 per share and $274.1 million in revenue for the current quarter.

John Reilly, interim CEO of SeaWorld, commented:

These results continue to show the strength of our underlying business model and the effectiveness of our strategic pricing strategies, marketing and communications initiatives and the positive reception of our new rides, attractions and events. We continued to see a double-digit increase in season pass sales revenue this quarter, further underscoring the effectiveness of our strategies.  Third quarter attendance and revenue growth demonstrated continued strength during our peak summer season.  Our increase in total revenue per capita was driven by a 7.4% increase in in-park per capita spending that was attributable to our improved culinary and merchandise offerings and other in-park offerings including our front of the line pass Quick Queue.

Shares of SeaWorld were last seen down 3% at $25.43, in a 52-week range of $10.42 to $32.47. The consensus analyst price target is $30.64.