SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., the parent company of SeaWorld San Diego, on Wednesday reported lower sales and earnings for the third quarter of 2014 and said “negative media attention in California” was partly to blame.
The company earned $87.2 million, or $1.00 per share, down 28 percent from $120.7 million, or $1.34 per share, in the third quarter of 2013. Revenue declined 8 percent from the year-ago quarter to $495.8 million.
SeaWorld Entertainment’s stock was down over 2 points in midday trading after the earnings announcement.
Attendance at the company’s 11 theme parks declined 5 percent to 8.4 million in the third quarter compared to 8.9 million a year ago.
“The decline results from a combination of factors including negative media attention in California along with a challenging competitive environment, particularly in Florida,” the company said.
“Clearly 2014 has been a challenging year, but I am confident we are taking the necessary steps to address our near term challenges and position the company to deliver value over the long term,” said Jim Atchison, CEO and President.
He said the company is executing a cost-savings plan that is expected to deliver approximately $50 million of annual savings by the end of 2015.
SeaWorld San Diego is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year, and also fighting back against criticism from PETA, a Los Angeles-area state legislator’s effort to ban killer whale shows, and negative publicity in the wake of the movie “Blackfish.”
The company is moving forward with its $100 million Blue World Project to double that amount of water devoted to killer whales at the San Diego park.
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