SeaWorld swings to loss for second-quarter

SeaWorld Entertainment revenue misses expectations in second-quarter losses.

The figures come hard on the heels of reports that the beleaguered company may be selling its Busch Gardens parks to Merlin Entertainments.

SeaWorld Entertainment has just reported a second-quarter net loss of $175.9 million (equating to $2.05 a share).  In comparison, in the same period last year, the company showed a profit of $17.8 million (21 cents a share).

The latest quarter’s loss includes a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $269.3 million.

Overall revenue rose one percent to $373.8 million.  This figure missed the FactSet consensus of $394.8 million.

Attendance increased by about 138,000 guests. This was because a shift in the timing of Easter was offset by a decline in U.S. domestic and international attendance.

Total per capita revenue dropped to $61.05 from $62.02.  Again this was below the FactSet consensus ($62.30), as admissions per capita revenue fell by 1.8% to $36.74, missing the expectation of $37.50.

SeaWorld says the declines have been the result of product and park mix issues.

The number of U.S. vacationers visiting its parks dropped off after the company reduced spending on a national advertising campaign. The company plans to reactivate its advertising push to raise brand awareness. It will offset the increased spend with additional cost cutting.

The S&P 500 SPX, -0.24% has gained 11 percent.

The company owns 12 theme parks in five states, including four of the top 20 in North America.  Its SeaWorld theme parks in San Diego and Orlando have been especially hard hit.

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