This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

SeaWorld Wades Into 2014 Amid 'Blackfish' Backlash

But the flaw in the strong earnings was weakened attendance. In the third quarter, attendance was down 3.6%, continuing the yearly trend of fewer visitors. Through the first nine months, total attendance declined 4.7%. SeaWorld did see higher spending per person inside the parks in the third quarter ($22.36 vs. $21.61), which helped offset a lower headcount. Some of the weakened attendance figures could be the direct result of Blackfish.

Despite Blackfish, SeaWorld will not see its parks close or the entertainment from orcas end anytime soon. Consumers will continue to pay handsomely to watch marine animals up close and personal as they perform tricks and swim. After all, the death in 2010 didn't cause the parks to close then, and one film isn't likely to have a huge impact.

In the short term, SeaWorld will take the P.R. hit and might see fewer people visiting its parks. This will put pressure on in-park spending on food and merchandise, a strength for the company in recent quarters.

SeaWorld continues to have a tough road ahead. Try posting on Facebook (FB) that you are taking your family to SeaWorld. I bet some random relative or friend will ask you if you've seen the movie and criticize your decision.

Boycotting SeaWorld has become the right thing to do, for many. With a recent secondary stock offering and cancellations from musicians at the festival, shares may be stuck around $30 for a little while.

SeaWorld does pay a dividend yield north of 2%, which should get some value investors to stick around. Long-term investors can likely wait out the impact of Blackfish and the weakened attendance figures. However, I don't see there being a very happy ending for SeaWorld shares in 2014. A potential Academy Award nomination or win could even see shares trade below the IPO price.

At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Chris Katje has been fascinated with the stock market since a young age. That passion turned into a freelance writing career that began in 2008. Mr. Katje has seen his work appear on Seeking Alpha, the Motley Fool, The Street, and Variety. Chris's annual top ten stock picks list continues to beat the market and grow in popularity. You can follow Chris on Twitter (@chriskatje).
2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,943.81 +28.74 0.17%
S&P 500 1,967.57 +2.89 0.15%
NASDAQ 4,415.49 +19.2860 0.44%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs