- Associated Press - Monday, August 6, 2018

NEW YORK (AP) - SeaWorld swung to a second-quarter profit on a boost in attendance at its theme parks.

Shares jumped 13 percent at the opening bell Monday.

The company earned $22.7 million, or 26 cents per share, after reporting a loss in the same period a year earlier.

Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring costs, came to 34 cents per share, beating Wall Street expectations for 27 cents per share.

Higher attendance during the quarter pushed revenue up by 4.9 percent to $391.9 million in the period. That also beat expectations with analysts forecasting $368.1 million in revenue.

Attendance jumped 4.8 percent, to 6.4 million after years of declines.

Attendance has suffered at SeaWorld since the 2013 orca documentary “Blackfish” suggested that the company’s treatment of animals may have led to the deaths of trainers. It announced in 2017 that it would not breed killer whales and would stop using them in shows.

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. operates 12 theme parks, including SeaWorld parks in Florida, California, and Texas, along with Busch Gardens parks in Florida and Virginia. The company also operates Sesame Place in Pennsylvania. It also reported a boost in attendance during the first quarter.

Shares of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. have increased 56 percent since the beginning of the year. The stock has increased 49 percent in the last 12 months.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on SEAS at https://www.zacks.com/ap/SEAS


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