SeaWorld reports loss in first quarter

SeaWorld reported a loss in attendance and an overall net loss in the first quarter of the year, attributing both to a decrease in Brazilian guests and local passholders. The reported net loss was $46.9 million; last year the loss was $43.5 million. Stocks went down 5 percent to $18.49. Chief Executive Officer Joel Manby said, “We are a company in transition and we are taking action to reposition the company for the long term. The evolution of the SeaWorld brand will not happen overnight, but we have taken the most important and significant first steps.” Pacific Asset Management analyst Bob Boyd said, “Their story has certainly changed in the last quarter, but you don’t get the payoff from that instantly. This is still a long process. It’s still going to be challenging in the short term for them.” Traffic from Brazil is normally high to Orlando in the first quarter, but the country is in the middle of a recession, so visitors have dropped off dramatically. Passholders have also decreased, because SeaWorld is beginning to reduce some of their discounting. Manby said, “I do think what we’ve learned in our season pass offer in Orlando is, perhaps we moved a little too quickly. We eliminated the BOGO (buy one, get one) entirely. A lot of those customers are very, very, very price sensitive.” News source/photo credit: Orlando Sentinel

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