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SeaWorld's (NYSE: SEAS) Stock Drops on Earnings; Third Quarter Sees 5.2% Decline in Attendance

Are Consumers Sending the Message that they Don't Support Cetaceans in Captivity? ... Leading Advocate for Dolphins Ric O'Barry Thinks So

Category: Investment, Water


November 12, 2014 (www.waternewswire.com) Investorideas.com (www.investorideas.com), a global news source covering leading sectors including the environment and water reports on SeaWorld's ( NYSE: SEAS ) earnings and drop in attendance, reflecting a growing trend in society due to documentaries like Blackfish and The Cove, that it is no longer acceptable to hold cetaceans in captivity for our amusement.

InvestorIdeas.com Water Stocks Directory

Today SeaWorld ( NYSE: SEAS ) reported third quarter earnings and the stock has dropped significantly.

Investorideas.com Newswire

According to SeaWorld's (NYSE: SEAS) press release today, the spin on attendance is "The decrease in total revenue in the third quarter of 2014 was primarily driven by a 5.2% decline in attendance, along with a 2.9% decline in total revenue per capita from $60.74 in the third quarter of 2013 to $58.99. The prior year quarter in 2013 yielded record results in revenue driven by the Company's SeaWorld-branded parks partly due to the addition of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin®, the Company's largest expansion ever at its SeaWorld® Orlando park. Admission per capita, defined as admissions revenue divided by total attendance, decreased by 5.0% from $38.38 to $36.47 primarily as a result of an unfavorable change in the park attendance mix and an increase in promotional offerings compared to the prior year quarter. In-park per capita spending, calculated as food, merchandise and other revenue divided by total attendance, increased slightly from $22.36 to $22.53 in the third quarter of 2014.

Attendance declined when compared to the prior year quarter, as trends the Company began to experience in the second quarter of 2014, primarily at its destination parks, extended into the Company's peak operating quarter. The Company believes the decline results from a combination of factors including negative media attention in California along with a challenging competitive environment, particularly in Florida. The competitive challenges in Florida relate to significant new attraction offerings at competitor destination parks, along with a delay in the scheduled opening of one of the Company's new rides at its Busch Gardens® Tampa park."

Obviously SeaWorld did not want to discuss the elephant in the room, or the whale in the aquarium. The tide of consumer and corporate opinion is shifting dramatically.

Investorideas.com recently conducted an exclusive video Q&A interview with Ric O'Barry, author of Behind the Dolphin Smile and founder of the Dolphin Project ( www.Dolphinproject.net ) . He is also the recognizable face of the award winning documentary, The Cove.

Ric is confident the world is changing for cetaceans due to documentaries like The Cove and Blackfish and consumers are driving change in the corporate world as evidenced by the drop in attendance at SeaWorld ( NYSE: SEAS ) . He also said the tide is shifting as corporations Like Virgin Airlines are severing ties to aquariums stating, "I have never seen anything like this before."

Ric O'Barry shared his views on how dolphins in captivity compare to wild dolphins telling us, "I have seen so many dolphins that were born inside of a building.. all over Europe. I was just there, Greece and Belgium and Sweden. And here the dolphins are born inside of a building; inside basically a swimming pool. They have never seen a live fish in their life. They don't know what that is. They have no idea what the tide is. A simple thing like the tide, or the currents or the sounds of the sea; they don't know what that is. They think that the ceiling is the sky. These are freaks that we have created for our amusement. They don't represent dolphins in the real ecosystem in nature anymore then Mickey Mouse represents a real mouse. So they are very different then real dolphins in the real world. And if there was a way for SeaWorld of the Vancouver Aquarium or Miami Seaaqurium to display a dolphin so that it served to acquaint us with who they are and how they are in nature then it might have some positive educational value; but they can't do that. So they simply bastardize the definition of education; and we all buy it. But Blackfish and The Cove and movies like this are changing all of that; because people are getting the truth now.  Since 1938 we have been lied to. Ever since the first dolphin was put in captivity …we have been doing the same show and the same lies of education research and conservation and finally the jig is up. People are learning the truth…." 

Investorideas.com interview with Ric O'Barry:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRoQmGU4fUQ

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The interview was conducted by the Investor Ideas team, led by Cali Van Zant in Miami, FL at Ric O'Barry's home following his return from Taiji Japan and the Dominican Republic.

Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project

The goal of Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project is to put an end to dolphin exploitation and slaughter once and for all. Dolphins are regularly captured, harassed, slaughtered and sold into captivity around the world – all in the name of profit. The Dolphin Project works not only to halt these slaughters in countries around the world, but also to rehabilitate captive dolphins, investigate and advocate for economic alternatives to dolphin slaughter exploitation, and to put a permanent end to dolphin captivity.

The Dolphin Project has achieved many important victories for dolphins over the years. We brought the world's attention to brutal drive hunts taking place along the coast of Japan, as seen in the 2009 Academy Award-winning feature documentary "The Cove," ; we successfully negotiated for an end to dolphin slaughter in the Solomon Islands; we and we continue to raise awareness that captivity is cruel.

Ric O'Barry has been working towards their goals for over 40 years, and he continues his quest to put an end to dolphin suffering

To Donate to The Dolphin Project: http://dolphinproject.net

About Ric O'Barry

Richard O'Barry has worked on both sides of the captive dolphin issue, making him an invaluable asset in the efforts to end exploitation. He worked for 10 years within the dolphin captivity industry, and has spent the past 40 working against it.

In the 1960s, O'Barry was employed by the Miami Seaquarium, where he captured and trained dolphins, including the five dolphins that played the role of Flipper in the popular American TV-series of the same name. He also trained Hugo, the first orca kept in captivity east of the Mississippi. When Kathy, the dolphin who played Flipper most of the time, died in his arms, O'Barry realized that capturing dolphins and training them to perform silly tricks is simply wrong.

From that moment on, O'Barry knew what he must do with his life. On the first Earth Day, 1970, he launched a searing campaign against the multi-billion dollar dolphin captivity industry and has been going at it ever since.

Over the past 40 years, Ric O'Barry has rescued and rehabilitated dolphins in many countries around the world, including Haiti, Colombia, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Brazil, the Bahamas Islands and the United States. He is a leading voice in the fight to end brutal dolphin hunts in Japan, the Solomon Islands, the Faroe Islands, and wherever else they occur.

O'Barry has been recognized by many national and international entities for his dedicated efforts, such as being voted Huffington Post's 2010 Most Influential Green Game Changer, and being listed on O Magazine's 2010 Power List – Men We Admire for his "Power of Passion." O'Barry received an Environmental Achievement Award, presented by the United States Committee for the United Nations Environmental Program. He has done countless interviews with such prestigious news programs as Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper 360, the Mike Huckabee Show, and the Oprah Winfrey Show.

His book Behind the Dolphin Smile was published in 1989; a second book, To Free A Dolphin was published in September 2000. Both of them are about his work and dedication. He is the star of the Academy Award-winning documentary The Cove and the Animal Planet television series Blood Dolphins.

See also: Investor Ideas recent commentary on the park board decisions after speaking at the board meeting about the Vancouver Aquariums cetaceans in captivity (Vancouver aquarium and park board article http://www.investorideas.com/news/2014/main/07303.asp )

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Published at Water Newswire 2011