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SEAS: ‘Blackfish’ Not the Cause of Plunging SeaWorld Attendance

The company fell short of first-quarter forecasts


Fewer people are going to SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS) parks, but the company says that poor weather and a later-than-usual Easter were behind the falloff.

SeaWorld185During the first quarter of this year, SeaWorld parks took in $212.3 million in revenue, down 11% from the prior-year period, and below the $215.1 million that Wall Street had forecast. Attendance at the destinations sank 13% from the year-ago period. The declines led SEAS to report a worse-than-expected loss of 56 cents per share for the quarter, Business Insider notes.

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SEAS said the drop in park attendance resulted from “a shift in the timing of Easter into the second quarter of 2014, which caused a shift in the Spring Break holiday period for schools in many of the Company’s key source markets.” It also cited “above average precipitation in the Florida market as well as below average temperatures in the Texas market” as denting attendance.

Not mentioned by SEAS was Blackfish, a documentary that aired on CNN accusing SeaWorld of mistreating the orca whales that perform at its shows.

SeaWorld stock rose almost 1% in Thursday trading. SEAS stock closed at $29.34 a share on Wednesday.

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