SeaWorld Reopens Amusement Parks; Stock Gains Over 4.3%

Theme park operator, SeaWorld Entertainment, announced that it has reopened three amusement parks abiding by COVID-19 safety measures. Following the announcement, SeaWorld stock closed 4.3% higher on Friday and gained over 1% during the extended trading session.

SeaWorld (SEAS) said that its amusement parks in Orlando, San Antonio, and San Diego are now open and will be operating with extended hours. However, in the San Diego theme park, the rides, rollercoasters, and indoor animal exhibits will continue to remain closed.

Marc Swanson, the interim CEO of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment said, “We are excited to be able to continue to add remarkable new offerings to our in-park experiences this season, creating even more memorable experiences for our guests.”

Alongside theme parks, the entertainment company announced that its Aquatica water parks in Orlando, San Antonio, and San Diego have started reservations for the 2021 season. The company said that the water parks in Orlando and San Antonio are currently open for the 2021 season, while Aquatica San Diego is likely to reopen on May 29. (See SeaWorld Entertainment stock analysis on TipRanks)

Last month, the company reported better-than-expected 4Q results, with revenues of $154.1 million topping Street estimates of $122.1 million. The company, however, reported a loss of $0.58 per share, which was narrower than analysts’ expectations for a loss of $0.69 per share.

Following the earnings, B.Riley Financial analyst Eric Wold raised the stock’s price target to $53 (about 8% upside potential) from $47 and maintained a Buy rating.

In a note to investors, the analyst said, “With a view that SEAS is emerging from the pandemic well ahead of its peers, we are increasing our AEBITDA [adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization] estimates from both cost-reduction efforts and revenue optimization strategies.”

Overall, the Street has a Strong Buy consensus rating based on 5 unanimous Buys. The average analyst price target of $53.60 implies upside potential of over 9% to current levels. Shares have gained about 97% over the past year.

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