Disney's making bank, SeaWorld's making bupkis

May 9, 2017, 5:00 PM

It's quarterly earning report time. Here's round-up on Disney:

From the Sentinel: "Domestic theme parks’ attendance rose 4 percent in Disney’s second quarter, despite the Easter holiday falling into the current quarter. Disney benefited from a week of the winter holiday shifting into its second quarter, during which parks and resorts’ revenue rose 9 percent to $4.3 billion compared with the previous year. Operating income increased 20 percent to $750 million."

And for SeaWorld:

From the OBJ: "The company reported first-quarter 2017 earnings on May 9 with revenue at $186.3 million, down 15 percent when compared to $220.2 million for the same time last year. Admissions revenue was $115 million, down 16 percent, and food/merchandise sales decreased 14 percent to $71.2 million for the first three months of this year."

Replies (5)

May 9, 2017, 5:21 PM

Oh, boy...and SeaWorld is a great brand, despite the animal captivity concerns. Maybe not the beginning of the end for SeaWorld, but a major concern.

May 9, 2017, 5:30 PM

I was coming back from WDW MK, this morning at around 10 AM. I got off the ferry boat and discovered the line get on the ferry boat to reach the MK extended back to the ticket booths. Crazy!

Edited: May 10, 2017, 4:18 AM

Reading further into the transcripts most of the attendance decline for Sea World was attributed to the shifting of Spring Break from first quarter to second quarter, and Joel Manby (CEO of SW) noted that in April they recouped all that lost attendance. Sea World just needs to stay the course by providing competitive pricing and building rides (primarily big boy coasters and thrill rides) that separate them from the Orlando pack. They will never be the main attraction in Orlando, but if they can get back to stealing a day from someone's Disney trip, instead of playing second fiddle to Universal, they will be okay.

Edited: May 10, 2017, 8:41 AM

I read the slow down was also due to the change of the Orca show from the more theatrical show to the educational show. This shows that SeaWorld will be dammed if they replaced the Orca. Orcas continue to be the huge draw to the park. Without it, they have to settle for being a regional park with declining attendance. To stay in the big leagues, they need to own an IP that can be their new headlining attraction like what Universal did with Harry Potter. An one shot wonder. They can do it!!!! Hint: License DC Comics Aqua-Man and create a DC Comics Zone for water related superheros.

May 10, 2017, 8:38 AM

Disney has plenty of bad news. DIS is now at $109 per share (and dipping below to $108) from a recent high of $113 per share. ESPN continues to be a drag on earnings. I don't expect Disney to regain it's all time high of $121 in 2015 until a solution to ESPN is made. Either sell ESPN or spin it off. Just get it off the books.

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