On November 13th I captured this chart:
This is the price and volume of the stock SEAS on the New York Stock Exchange. SEAS is the ticker symbol for SeaWorld. Needless to say, it is not a comfortable place to be if you are in investor relations right now. On that same day the current low is less than half of what the 52-week high had been. ($16.77 per share on November 13th versus a high of $35.30 on February 26th). Brutal.
The great thing about a company being publicly traded is that SEC requires a lot of information to be filed—granted it is in a sometimes archaic format—and institutional investors as for a lot of additional information if you want them to open their huge purses. All of this information floats around the tubes of the internet waiting to get sucked up and analyzed by eager parties. Like me.
I have little or no love for SeaWorld. The documentary Blackfish and books like David Kirby’s Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity just confirm long held suspicions that ocean animals belong in the ocean. These animals are not performers.
So, it is refreshing to see that there are direct impacts to people being upset about the practices at SeaWorld. How upset? If you look at the quarterly numbers released recently people are pissed and voting with their feet. Attendance at the parks—which include the infamous SeaWorld parks, Busch Gardens theme parks, and some other random parks—was down 5.2% compared to the same quarter in 2013, which is bad, but revenue was down an astounding 8% during the same period comparison.
These are horrific numbers. The executives of SeaWorld and the analysts gave them a pass on the real reason and stuck to the usual lines of weather, competition, blah…blah…blah…
The fact is that people do not want to patronize a business that is a deadly place to work and that holds animals captive in such deplorable conditions. We dislike zoos that are squalid, puppy mills that are exploitative, and marine parks that are pathetic.
If you are someone who is passionate about this issue please keep up the pressure because the impacts are being seen. People are staying away and, as a publicly traded company, we can see deep into the belly of the beast when it comes to results.