SeaWorld Attendance Plummets Because No One Wants Orcas In Swimming Pools
SeaWorld released its second quarter earnings on Thursday - and its numbers continue to tank.
The park saw a 1.6 percent drop in attendance from last year, down to 6.478 million visitors. CEO Joel Manby blamed the attendance decline on Texas rainfall, the timing of Easter and the company's "continued brand challenges" - in other words, outrage over how they treat their orcas.
While analysts predicted earnings per share of 40 cents, Seaworld reported an adjusted earnings per share of just 22. Net income plummeted to $5.8 million from $37.8 million in 2014, an 84 percent drop. And revenue declined 3 percent to $391.6 million, compared to $405.2 million in 2014.
Even with revenue dropping SeaWorld's operating costs soared - selling, general and administrative costs were up to $73.3 million from $58.6 million, likely due to SeaWorld's $10 million dollar PR drive that doesn't seem to be doing much good.
In a statement, Manby said the park has "much work ahead" to return to historical performance levels. "We recognize that fully resolving our brand challenges in California will require sustained focus and commitment to correct misinformation," he added.
The park's faced ongoing backlash since the 2013 release of "Blackfish," which revealed the park's less-than-savory treatment of its resident orcas. Since then the company has faced falling stock prices and attendance and continued revelations about animal mistreatment.
And these latest numbers didn't help. After the announcement, SeaWorld stock was down 5 percent.