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SeaWorld Falls as First-Quarter Loss Exceeds Estimates

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May 14 (Bloomberg) -- SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. dropped as much as 4.6 percent in extended trading after the theme-park operator posted first-quarter results that fell short of analysts’ projections.

The loss widened to 56 cents a share, Orlando, Florida-based SeaWorld said today in a statement. Analysts projected a loss of 49 cents, the average of nine estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue dropped 11 percent to $212.3 million and missed estimates of $215.1 million.

This year’s later Easter holiday shifted business into the current second quarter from the first, SeaWorld said, explaining a 13 percent drop in attendance in the first three months of the year. The company has come under pressure from animal rights activists over the past year following the release of “Blackfish,” a documentary about its treatment of captive whales used in shows.

SeaWorld fell 3.6 percent to $28.29 in extended trading after falling as low as $28. The stock lost 1.9 percent to $29.34 at the close in New York and has gained 2 percent this year.

The company also reaffirmed its 2014 forecast for revenue of $1.49 billion to $1.52 billion and as much as $465 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

The net loss for the first quarter widened to $49.4 million from $40.4 million, or 49 cents a share, a year earlier, SeaWorld said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Golum in Los Angeles at rgolum@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net Ben Livesey, John Lear

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