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SeaWorld Entertainment Q3 Profit Tops View, But Revenues Miss; Narrows Guidance

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (SEAS) reported Wednesday a profit for the third quarter that increased 30 percent from last year, reflecting improved revenues amid increase in total revenue per admission. Earnings per share topped analysts' expectations, while quarterly revenues missed their estimates. The company also narrowed its revenue guidance range for the full-year 2013.

"Given that, I am pleased to announce record results in revenue, Adjusted EBITDA, and net income. Our performance was driven by strong results at our SeaWorld branded parks, continued benefits from our pricing and yield management efforts, and effective cost management," President and CEO Jim Atchison said in a statement.

Orlando, Florida-based SeaWorld, which went public in April, reported net income of $120.20 million or $1.33 per share for the third quarter, higher than $92.26 million or $1.11 per share in the prior-year quarter.

On average, eight analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $1.21 per share for the quarter. Analysts estimates typically exclude special items.

Revenues for the quarter grew 3 percent to $538.39 million from $522.26 million in the same quarter last year, but missed seven Wall Street analysts' consensus estimate of $544.02 million.

The revenue growth was driven by a 6.9 percent increase in total revenue per capita to $60.74, partially offset by a 3.6 percent decrease in attendance.

Admission revenues grew 5 percent to $340 million, with admission per capita growing 9.1 percent, while food, merchandise and other revenues remained flat with last year at $198 million, with in-park per capita spending increasing 3.5 percent.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2013, the company narrowed its revenue guidance to a range of $1.452 billion to $1.462 billion from the its previously provided forecast between $1.45 billion and $1.48 billion. Street is currently looking for full-year 2013 revenues of $1.47 billion.

"We remain on track to finish our third straight year of record revenues and earnings with significant free cash flow growth," Atchison added.

SEAS closed Wednesday's regular trading session at $32.82, up $0.90 or 2.82% on a volume of 0.56 million shares. However, the stock lost $0.32 or 0.98% in after-hours trading.

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