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One Ocean

On August 13, 2014, after a weak earnings call, shares of SeaWorld stock plunged 33% to levels below its opening price when it went public in 2012. The news coming out of 2013’s attendance report wasn’t good, and it looks like 2014 has not been kind to the Sea World family of parks either. 

Here are four things to know about the current state of SeaWorld, and what these facts might mean for SeaWorld moving forward.

1. Attendance is not growing

Antarctica

SeaWorld reported that attendance so far in 2014 is down 4.3% and second quarter growth is only 0.3% above last year. That second quarter growth is especially troubling, as many had hoped that SeaWorld Orlando would see substantial growth, due to new attractions at Universal and Disney drawing visitors to the area.  Analysts had hoped that SeaWorld would benefit from a “rising tides lift all boats” effect, but with growth essentially stagnant from the second quarter last year (and down overall), it looks like SeaWorld wasn’t able to take advantage of the extra visitors to the area.

Though SeaWorld Orlando debuted a new attraction last year (Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin), if it wants to get visitors back into its parks, it’s going to have to create a compelling reason for them to get to the parks, which means more substantial investment for new attractions. 

2. Revenue is down

Manta

However, investment in new attractions requires capital, and unfortunately, revenue is down at SeaWorld parks in a big way. For the year, SeaWorld is forecasting overall revenue to be down between 6-7%. 

This downward trend is certainly troubling, and the opposite of what investors were hoping for. Unfortunately, the low revenue forecasts contributed largely to the stock plunge SeaWorld experienced earlier, as doubts are beginning to surface about the prognosis for SeaWorld as a brand.   

3. SeaWorld is going to employ cost-cutting measures in the near future

Manta aquarium

During the earnings conference call, SeaWorld said that it was planning to employ some unspecified cost-cutting measures to help raise the capital needed for new attractions and shows. SeaWorld has not specified what these cost-cutting measures might be, but a reduction in operating hours as well as fewer shows during the day are could be potential options that won’t have too much guest impact.

4. New attractions are in the pipeline

One Ocean

Although cost-cutting due to decreased revenue and sagging attendance paints a bleak picture, SeaWorld did say during its earnings call that its is committed to developing new attractions to draw in visitors. Though its looking like some extreme measures will need to be taken to secure financing for whatever SeaWorld has planned for the future, the fact that it at least has a plan to attract visitors moving forward is encouraging, and a sign that not everything is doom and gloom at SeaWorld. The company clearly isn’t ready to give up, and fans should take heart that there is still hope for SeaWorld to rebound after these setbacks.

It’s impossible to predict what the future holds for SeaWorld, and there are likely a number of contributing factors to its current status. However, there is hope that SeaWorld can get their financial house in order and introduce new attractions that will get guests back into the parks and get revenue levels back to where they should be.

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Comments

That's true. If you're going to boycott sea world then you have to boycott every zoo in the United States and any other facility that house animals. I agree you can't send these animals back into the wild because they don't know how to fend for themselves. I can see their point however -- keeping animals captive is probably not a good idea. We can learn about animals in many different ways now with all our technologies in place. Granted you can't physically touch the animals in this scenario, but the perpetuation of keeping these animals confined probably should stop. Research, study and anything to do with saving animals from extinction should certainly be continued as well as continued education and implementing medical care to animals.

That's true. If you're going to boycott sea world then you have to boycott every zoo in the United States and any other facility that house animals. I agree you can't send these animals back into the wild because they don't know how to fend for themselves. I can see their point however -- keeping animals captive is probably not a good idea. We can learn about animals in many different ways now with all our technologies in place. Granted you can't physically touch the animals in this scenario, but the perpetuation of keeping these animals confined probably should stop. Research, study and anything to do with saving animals from extinction should certainly be continued as well as continued education and implementing medical care to animals.

That's true. If you're going to boycott sea world then you have to boycott every zoo in the United States and any other facility that house animals. I agree you can't send these animals back into the wild because they don't know how to fend for themselves. I can see their point however -- keeping animals captive is probably not a good idea. We can learn about animals in many different ways now with all our technologies in place. Granted you can't physically touch the animals in this scenario, but the perpetuation of keeping these animals confined probably should stop. Research, study and anything to do with saving animals from extinction should certainly be continued as well as continued education and implementing medical care to animals.

So here is what we all need to remember/know... all the animals Blackfish is targeting have been in captivity since the 60's or 70's(back before humans stopped to consider if we should take them from the wild or not)... the footage they use as evidence proves that. The 1972 Marine Mammal act prohibits US from taking mammals. So Sea World is maintaining who they already have... do you really want to release a mammal into the ocean who has never had to hunt for food or evade a predator? Yes, they do breed but the instincts those mammals inherit and how they are raised also would put them at risk in the ocean. I am very glad to see the killer whales receiving a new habitat. I agree the old one was too small. However, by boycotting Sea World we hinder all the good the parks do. Rescue and rehabilitation of animals to just name one. We can't change what was done in the past but at least Sea World is trying to make things better. I don't notice anyone boycotting zoo's and aquariums... not that much different!

I love seaworld and they take very good care of animals and I will continue to go there.theyshould have never made that movie about the whales cause it's not true.

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