NEW YORK (AP) - Shares of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. fell Wednesday after the water theme park company's quarterly results failed to make the kind of splash that Wall Street was looking for.
THE SPARK: SeaWorld, which went public in April, posted an adjusted second-quarter profit of 41 cents per share, while analysts polled by FactSet expected 47 cents per share.
Revenue dropped 3 percent to $411.3 million, below Wall Street's prediction of $435.5 million.
THE BIG PICTURE: Orlando, Fla.-based SeaWorld runs 11 parks, including Busch Gardens and Sesame Place. It blamed higher ticket prices and bad weather with hurting attendance in the April-June quarter.
Attendance fell 9 percent to 6.6 million visitors. In addition to the other factors, SeaWorld said the timing of Easter this year shifted some visitors to the first quarter, instead of the second quarter.
Meanwhile, higher ticket prices helped drive up a revenue-per-visitor metric it tracks by 7 percent to $62.67.
THE ANALYSIS: KeyBanc analyst Scott Hamann backed his "Buy" rating and $45 price target for SeaWorld shares, saying that while the results may look disappointing, they're more a result of timing issues than problems with the company's operations.
Hamann said he thinks analysts underestimated the effects of the shift in the Easter holiday. In addition, the company's increases in per-person admissions revenue and in-park spending give him confidence in its earnings potential for the full year.
THE SHARES: Down $1.22, or 3.4 percent, to $35.09 in heavy midday trading, after falling as low as $32.83 at the start of the session. In the months since the company's IPO, the shares have traded between $30.26 and $39.65.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)