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SeaWorld's Downward Spiral Continues as 4th Quarter and Annual Earnings for 2014 Announced

Earlier today, SeaWorld announced their dismal 4th quarter and annual earnings for 2014.

For the full year of 2014, the company generated a decrease of $82.4 million compared to 2013, primarily driven by a 4.2% decline in attendance.

Below are a few “highlights” from this morning’s investor call:

(Full transcript can be found here)

James Heaney, CFO, states,

For the full year 2014, the company generated revenue of $1.378 billion which decreased 6% from the $1.46 billion in 2013. The decrease in revenue was driven by a 4.2% decline in attendance and a 1.5% decrease in total revenue per capita.

When investor Tim Nollen of Macquarie asked about the plan at the beginning of the IPO proceedings to reduce promotions, Heaney answered, "Our strategy is, simply, let’s get people into the parks,” an obvious problem for SeaWorld this past year.

SeaWorld is planning to launch a new reputation campaign in the coming weeks.

Nollen also asked about updates on the Blue World Project and International Expansion. Heaney said that Blue World Project is still on track and they “continue to look at their Mid East projects and have recently had a series of discussions and will have more to talk about in the next quarter.”

He goes on to say, "On the international side, we continue to look at our Mid East projects and have recently had a series of discussions and we’ll have more to talk about in the next quarter."

Wells Fargo’s Tim Conder followed up by asking, “Is there any additional color what you can give us, again, it sounds like the tone has changed more for the positive on the international front?”

Heaney responded,

I think, it is fair to say, we have made progress. On a scale of 1 to 10, I can’t tell you in any definitive way, but we have certainly made progress and expecting to know more and be able to report more next quarter.

When asked about the CEO search, Interim CEO David D’Alessandro said:

We are looking at people that have a wide range of skills and certainly marketing skills, financial skills and the ability to manage multiple geographies and multiple brands.

And the search has dealt into all the areas, we said we are going to in December, so the cruise line businesses, resort industries, the ski industries, some of the sports and entertainment industries, the theme park industries and the hotel business in general. So we continue to go down their path.

This answer was very telling in where SeaWorld’s priorities lie and they are definitely NOT with the animals.

SEAS stock dropped 5.95% throughout the day to a final price of $19.14.

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