SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (SEAS - Free Report) recently announced preliminary revenue and attendance results for third-quarter 2018 that ended on Sep 30, 2018. The company reported initial numbers because of a possible debt-refinancing transaction.
Notably, the unaudited numbers are subject to changes as and when the company completes its standard closing procedures related to deferred revenue and barter revenue entries.
For the third quarter, SeaWorld anticipates revenues to increase roughly $41 million, reflecting 9% growth from the year-ago quarter. In the first nine months of 2018, revenues are reported to have grown 9% or by $90 million year over year as per preliminary accounting.
Attendance in the third quarter is expected to have jumped 10%, with the addition of 0.7 million guests from the year-ago quarter. Further, in the first nine months, attendance surged roughly 9% year over year, with an increase of 1.4 million guests.
SeaWorld has been steadfast in its effort to drive attendance for the past few quarters. For some time, the company faced lower admission per capita due to park attendance mix, despite seeing increased per capita spending.
In order to drive attendance and, therefore, the top line, SeaWorld extensively focused on its marketing strategy to highlight brand attributes and additions. The company also introduced rides at most of its parks to attract guests.
We believe that these initiatives have started paying off, starting from second-quarter 2018. In the second quarter, the company’s revenues increased 4.9% year over year. The upside trend is likely to have continued in the third quarter as well. Subsequently, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter’s revenues is pegged at $462.4 million, reflecting an increase of 5.7% from the year-ago quarter.
Meanwhile, the company has also been undertaking sincere efforts to control costs without denting efficiency and improve financial standing through debt refinancing. It expects to achieve net cost savings of $40 million by the end of 2018.
Backed by such strong initiatives, shares of SeaWorld have surged 118.2% in the past year, outperforming the industry’s rally of 4.6%.
Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider
SeaWorld currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other top-ranked stocks in the industry are Cedar Fair (FUN - Free Report) , RCI Hospitality (RICK - Free Report) and Reading International (RDI - Free Report) , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Long-term EPS growth rate for Cedar Fair is 6%. RCI Hospitality and Reading International’s earnings for 2019 are projected to grow 9.8% and 49%, respectively.
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