SeaWorld’s first quarter loss widened as expenses climbed, but the theme park operator’s adjusted results and revenue beat Wall Street’s view.
President and CEO Joel Manby said in a written statement that the company’s recently announced decision to end all orca breeding and transition its shows toward more natural orca encounters — along with its partnership with the Humane Society of the United States — should help improve its performance over time.
SeaWorld has faced intense scrutiny ever since the 2013 release ofBlackfish, a highly critical documentary.
For the three months ended March 31, SeaWorld lost $84 million, or $1 per share. A year earlier the Orlando, Florida-based company lost $43.6 million, or 51 cents per share.
Losses, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 56 cents per share. That’s better than the loss of 60 cents per share that analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research forecast.
Total costs and expenses rose to $339.8 million from $264.8 million.
SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. said Thursday that revenue increased to $220.2 million from $214.6 million as attendance improved and people spent more on food and merchandise. Analysts expected $213 million, according to a Zacks poll.
Attendance climbed to 3.3 million from 3.21 million in the quarter.