SeaWorld Entertainment Inc (NYSE:SEAS) shares declined Monday as the company faces a federal investigation.
The company was subpoenaed over the allegation that the company was keeping its orca whales in small tanks instead of pens. SeaWorld has been in hot water with consumers since the release of the 2013 documentary Blackfish that exposed the miserable conditions in which orcas live within the company’s confines.
In addition to losing a chunk of its business, SeaWorld now faces a federal investigation by two government agencies, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The departments are looking at the company’s securities before and during August 2014.
The date is especially important as it marks a time (August 2014) when the company’s shares fell 33 cents on a single day–a loss SeaWorld attributed to the negative press caused by Blackfish.
“The company has cooperated with these government inquiries and intends to continue to cooperate with any government requests or inquiries,” a company filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, said.
SeaWorld said that it has put together a special committee that will work towards complying with the federal investigations, proving the company’s innocence.
The company has been phasing out its orca shows in recent months due to the backlash caused by the infamous documentary.
SEAS stock plummeted 5.7% by Monday afternoon.