SeaWorld attendance declines

- SeaWorld's revenue fell as attendance declined, sending the theme park and entertainment company's shares lower.

The Orlando, Florida-based company's profit rose from results a year ago when it absorbed a hefty charge, but the earnings missed Wall Street expectations.

Its shares dropped $2.06, or 13.9 percent, to $12.78 in midday trading Thursday.

For the three months ended June 30, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. earned $17.8 million, or 21 cents per share. A year earlier the Orlando, Florida-based company earned $5.8 million, or 7 cents per share.

The prior-year period included a charge of $122 million for restructuring and other related costs.

The latest earnings results were short of Wall Street's expectations. Analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research were looking for earnings of 23 cents per share for the latest quarter.

Revenue declined to $371.1 million from $391.6 million. Analysts were looking for $371.8 million in revenue, according to a Zacks poll.

Overall attendance dropped by 7.6 percent, with the company saying it was because of lower attendance at its Florida park locations and a shift in the timing of holidays this year.

President and CEO Joel Manby said in a written statement Thursday that Florida parks were hurt by an accelerated decline in Latin American guests, Tropical Storm Colin and an overall downturn in the Orlando market in the second half of June.

Earlier this year SeaWorld announced that it would end all orca breeding and transition its shows toward more natural orca encounters. The company has faced intense scrutiny ever since the 2013 release of "Blackfish," a highly critical documentary.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on SEAS at http://www.zacks.com/ap/SEAS

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Keywords: SeaWorld, Earnings Report

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