NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A bill proposed in California that would ban the use of performing orcas, better known as killer whales, in shows at the marine park SeaWorld (SEAS) - Get SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. Report has been tabled.
Over the weekend the Los Angeles Times reported that Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), the man that introduced the bill into the California legislature, has confirmed that the bill will not be reintroduced this year, as it had been planned, while the issue of captive orcas is still being studied.
The bill was introduced early last year, but put on hold in April for "interim study." There was no date set to complete the study, LA Times added.
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If passed Bloom's bill would require SeaWorld to fundamentally change how it operates one of its three parks where killer whales perform.
Performing orcas have been a staple of the amusement park for decades, but the legislation would require the company's San Diego park to stop the shows, end its breeding program, and release those whales that could survive on their own into the wild, and retire those that cannot to sea sanctuaries.
Bloom's bill was proposed following the wave of criticism that was hurled at SeaWorld after the release of the controversial 2013 documentary "Blackfish."
The film highlights the 2010 death of one of SeaWorld Orlando's veteran trainers, killed when she was grabbed and pulled into the tank of Tilikum, a 12,000 pound bull orca.
The film alleges that a life of prolonged captivity, mistreatment, and abuse led the animal to attack and kill the trainer. "Blackfish" follows Tilikum from the time he was captured in the waters off Iceland to the aftermath of the 2010 attack.
Critics of the film say it is too one sided and ignores SeaWorld's positive attributes, including its rescue and release efforts.
Shares of SeaWorld closed at $16.61 on Friday afternoon.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates SEAWORLD ENTERTAINMENT INC as a Sell with a ratings score of D. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate SEAWORLD ENTERTAINMENT INC (SEAS) a SELL. This is driven by a few notable weaknesses, which we believe should have a greater impact than any strengths, and could make it more difficult for investors to achieve positive results compared to most of the stocks we cover. The company's weaknesses can be seen in multiple areas, such as its unimpressive growth in net income, generally high debt management risk, weak operating cash flow, generally disappointing historical performance in the stock itself and feeble growth in its earnings per share."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 27.8% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $120.74 million to $87.18 million.
- Although SEAS's debt-to-equity ratio of 2.59 is very high, it is currently less than that of the industry average. To add to this, SEAS has a quick ratio of 0.64, this demonstrates the lack of ability of the company to cover short-term liquidity needs.
- Net operating cash flow has decreased to $136.43 million or 23.60% when compared to the same quarter last year. In conjunction, when comparing current results to the industry average, SEAWORLD ENTERTAINMENT INC has marginally lower results.
- Despite any intermediate fluctuations, we have only bad news to report on this stock's performance over the last year: it has tumbled by 46.76%, worse than the S&P 500's performance. Consistent with the plunge in the stock price, the company's earnings per share are down 25.37% compared to the year-earlier quarter. Turning toward the future, the fact that the stock has come down in price over the past year should not necessarily be interpreted as a negative; it could be one of the factors that may help make the stock attractive down the road. Right now, however, we believe that it is too soon to buy.
- SEAWORLD ENTERTAINMENT INC's earnings per share declined by 25.4% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has reported a trend of declining earnings per share over the past year. However, the consensus estimate suggests that this trend should reverse in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, SEAWORLD ENTERTAINMENT INC reported lower earnings of $0.58 versus $0.83 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.72 versus $0.58).
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: SEAS Ratings Report