How about some love for BGW?

Saturday, January 7, 2017 5:44 PM

If cash flow is positive then they aren't operating at a loss. It means they aren't making as much money as they did the previous year.

I remember during the recession I would constantly read about this company or that company "losing" millions of dollars. I wondered how they could possibly survive. Then I found out they meant a drop in sales or revenue. I think that terminology is pretty misleading.

But then again, what do I know?

Monday, January 9, 2017 9:49 PM

It doesn’t have anything to do with how they did the previous year. It’s not that unusual for a company to have have an accounting loss and positive cash flow. A large factor in their accounting loss is depreciation and amortization, which was nearly $157 million for the first three quarters of 2016. Cash flow ignores non-cash charges like depreciation.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 7:41 AM

Interesting. I guess that makes sense; my rental property runs at a loss every year for tax purposes as well. Guess I better start laying off the help.

But then again, what do I know?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 3:33 AM

BrettV said:
I haven't been to Busch Williamsburg in 15 years but I remember it being a beautiful park and preferring it to Busch Tampa. That said, BGT really has seemed to have seen better days in my experiences visiting last April. Not sure if others feel that way about either Busch park, but I sure feel it in Tampa.

I remember BGT being a gorgeous park but with rides needing paint in a serious way. However, that has way more to do with the weather being what it is down there than I think it does with the park being worn down or shoddy. I could have walked around and not even ridden and been perfectly happy.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 5:41 AM

I agree it's a great park. They've ran a special for a two park fun card for the price of a day of admission. We had those the past two seasons. They dont have that special this year so we are going to get passes.

We love the atmosphere. It's always our first amusement park visit of the year because they open in March when other parks in our area don't open until several weeks later. This year we'll wait until their second weekend so we can spend one day at BGW and another day at the park up the road we enjoy. ;-)

Sunday, January 15, 2017 2:49 PM

Jeff, if your measure of whether a company is doing well is if they are merely profitable, I think there's a bunch of companies who would love to have you as their investor or board member.

It's pretty clear that SeaWorld is not doing very well, at all, right now. Their competitors (Cedar Fair, Six Flags, Disney Parks & Resorts, Universal) have been delivering record year after record year with double-digit growth.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment revenue was $1.460 billion in 2013, the years Blackfish came out. Prior to that, they were experiencing similar growth of their competitors. Since that time:

Revenue fell 5.6% in 2014, down 0.5% in 2015 and was down 2.3% through 3Q of 2016.

Attendance down 4.2% in 2014, fell 0.3% in 2015 and fell 0.4% through 3Q of 2016.

EBITDA down 15.7% in 2014, fell 2.4% in 2015 and down a whopping 9.6% YTD through 3Q of 2016

Net income fell 3.9% in 2014, 1.6% in 2015 and down over 100% YTD through 3Q of 2016.

Obviously, there is concern about SeaWorld, particularly given that it's competitors are having record years. The EBITDA declines alone are shockingly bad.

What Mr. Six said is pretty spot on.

And companies don't generally have massive layoffs when they get a new CEO (by the way, Manby has been at SeaWorld for 2 years now). Yea, they will shuffle/reassign/let-go some senior executives but it's not normal, or a sign of a healthy growing company, when they have significant layoffs of front-line level people on an annual basis. When Ouimet took over at CF or Reid-Anderson at SIX, they moved around/brought in new senior leaders, but they weren't cutting the front-line workforce by 10% on an annual basis.

Sunday, January 15, 2017 4:58 PM

Are these numbers just for the actual SeaWorld parks in Orlando, San Diego, and San Antonio or for Sea World Parks the entire company?

But then again, what do I know?

Sunday, January 15, 2017 5:13 PM

Company wide, I'm sure. The large operators don't release park-by-park numbers that I'm aware of.

Sunday, January 15, 2017 6:48 PM
Jeff's avatar

The American obsession with growth is probably the biggest reason to avoid going public. It's also the reason I find the whole Silicon Valley scene as adding little value to the world, because the incentive for success isn't to build a sustainable business, it's to achieve a funding event or exit.

You don't have to recall the numbers, I've seen them. I will maintain that their biggest to mistakes were not dropping Atchison sooner, and not building attractions to be competitive in Orlando. The company is too dependant on the Orlando parks to not keep them evolving.

The layoffs I would not characterize as "significant" or a sign of anything desperate. They're in transition, finding a new identity, and catching up on their non-investment. The declining results have not negatively impacted guest experience. They sure aren't cutting class "A" office space at corporate.

All I'm saying is that the gloom and doom doesn't reflect the reality. I'm sure they'll turn it around.

Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - - My Blog - Twitter - Video

Sunday, January 15, 2017 7:37 PM

The rundown feeling of BGT for me was seen in closed shops and restaurants, SBNO rides (Gwazi and the shoot-the-chutes) and an overall feeling of apathy amongst the staff. The park is still beautiful - there was just an off "vibe" about the place in three visits I made in the spring of 2016.

Sunday, January 15, 2017 8:39 PM

The issues (up until this year, ironically enough) were not Orlando. Manby has made it very clear, publicly, that their issues in 2014 and 15 resulting in revenue drops and double-digit EBITDA declines were because of reaction to Blackfish and "changing consumer preferences" at San Diego and general poor performance in San Antonio, leading to the outser of the GM there. Orlando and the BG parks had been meeting expectations - according to Manby. 2016, its been Orlando dragging down the company, ironically enough the year Mako opened. They've blamed softness in Latin America market (Brazil specifically) and weather.

In terms of the guest experience with the recent layoffs - they closed 2 animal exhibits at Busch Gardens, reducing and in some cases eliminating the "animal educators" that are there to interact with guests and I've heard the high divers have been cut from Blue Horizons shows (they weren't there when I was there a few weeks ago). Just a couple examples. Not huge - but this latest round of layoffs was guest-facing positions .... the layoffs last year were primarily consolidation/elimination of back of house/administrative positions

Monday, January 16, 2017 9:17 AM
Jeff's avatar

They layoffs as a percentage are not significant as a percentage. And Manby can say whatever he wants, but the Orlando parks (which include Aquatica and Discovery Cove) heavily influence the company's overall results, and if you consider Tampa part of the mix, moving the needle a little is significant compared to California (but especially compared to Texas and Virginia).

Maybe my point is that the changes in the last two years are not reactionary, they're proactive.

Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - - My Blog - Twitter - Video


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