Sea World to Cut Hours for Part Time Employees

Thursday, September 12, 2013 6:01 PM

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc.

I swear that there has not been one bit of decent news about Sea World since the Busch sale. There was a time I really thought they could compete in the Orlando market (and others). Now I wonder how viable/sustainable their model is long term.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013 7:39 PM

After reading the article, I came away with a very different take. Employee hours are being cut from 32 to 28 hours per week, so they will be considered part-time. Thus Sea World would not be required to provide health insurance under Obamacare legislation. It's a cost saving move related to health insurance. I suspect many corporations will be doing the exact same thing. I'm not saying its fair to employees, but I understand why they would do it. It has nothing to do with a "viable/sustainable business model."

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Thursday, September 12, 2013 11:51 PM

No decent news? The stock was up more than 7% today on news of a boost in gate and overall revenue.

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Friday, September 13, 2013 12:34 AM

Pretty sure SeaWorld management is blaming this on Obamacare requirements. There's a requirement in the new law that if an employee works over 28 hours (not sure the exact number) the company has to offer them health care benefits. Most companies do not currently offer part-time employees health care benefits at all, so they have to cut hours back to avoid the extra cost. I fear this topic will turn into a political debate, but from SeaWorld's point of view, it makes more sense to just cut hours and let the part time employees join the new government exchanges.

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Friday, September 13, 2013 12:57 AM

I was talking more about this part of the article...among the general lack of good vibes about their new attractions/etc.

SeaWorld has already endured a difficult summer. The company revealed last month that it lost $15.9 million during the second quarter — after posting a $39.1 million profit during the same period last year — as attendance at its parks slumped 9 percent because of a combination of heavy rains and higher prices, among other factors.

SeaWorld's stock price has since dropped almost 20 percent. It has also faced negative publicity spawned by the documentary film "Blackfish" and ongoing legal battles with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, both stemming from the February 2010 death of a SeaWorld Orlando killer-whale trainer.

Last edited by Aamilj, Friday, September 13, 2013 1:00 AM
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Friday, September 13, 2013 1:42 AM

^But the article Jeff linked to has SeaWorld stock up 3-4% in the quarter. Your point in your original post was that this was the fault of the new SeaWorld owners. My point is that it is not, it is actually a result of the economy and the impending Obamacare law.

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Friday, September 13, 2013 9:41 AM

I don't believe Sea World has thrived under the new ownership compared to the Busch years? I don't believe that Sea World is keeping pace with its competition? I know their stock is under-performing the S@P. I do agree that Obamacare was the catalyst for this move. As for the economy...it doesn't seem to be killing attendance for the competition.

I surmise that they are the first major park chain to take the PR hit involved with thwarting Obamacare because they are in the weakest financial position of the bunch. There is a hint of desperation in martyrdom. I wonder if the competition will follow with the 28 hour weekly shift changes?

This Motley Fool article explains my worries/opinion that things are not rosy with SEAS.

Last edited by Aamilj, Friday, September 13, 2013 9:47 AM
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Friday, September 13, 2013 11:16 AM

If the ACA had simply taken my advice and required all employer-based health insurance be paid for on a pro-rated basis, then none of this would ever have come to pass. You work 20 hours, employer contriubtes half of what they'd have paid if you were a 40-hour employee. The "problem" wouldn't need to be solved, because it never would have been created.

Of course, other countries still (justifiably?) scoff at the notion of healthcare being depedent on your employment status, so....

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Friday, September 13, 2013 12:02 PM

IMO, we ought to just, finally and once and and for all, give up on the idiotic notion that a fundamental human right like health care can or should be a capitalistic endeavor. The model is beyond broken; it's economically and morally bankrupt.

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Friday, September 13, 2013 12:30 PM

^Much like the minimum wage discussion, I'd like to try a different approach. Telling the decision-makers that "it's the right thing to do" frankly isn't going to win any arguments with those who are only concerned about profitability. I think we need to PROVE to them that a healthier population where fewer people are living on the fringes of society is actually more PROFITABLE for those in positions of extreme wealth and power. All the moralizing in the world isn't going to convince John Schnatter (for example) that his employees deserve health care. But if he sees that his revenues are dipping because customers don't like sick employees sneezing on their pizzas...THEN there is a chance he might change his position.

Henry Ford said his employees needed to earn enough to buy his cars...shouldn't McD's employees be able to buy a burger?

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Friday, September 13, 2013 12:32 PM

Economic bankruptcy aside (since we're poised to accelerate to that point once Obamacare fully kicks in), couldn't it be considered equally morally bankrupt to expect everyone else to fund my health care?

There are some who believe the notion that health care is a fundamental human right is idiotic.

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Friday, September 13, 2013 12:48 PM

There are some who believe the notion that all men are created equal is idiotic as well.

Not all opinions are of equal merit.

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Friday, September 13, 2013 1:00 PM

OhioStater said:

There are some who believe the notion that all men are created equal is idiotic as well.

Not all opinions are of equal merit.

I fail to see how championing the cause of self-sufficiency parallels a belief in inequality. Is that your assertion?

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Friday, September 13, 2013 1:01 PM

The loss vs. profit compared to last year (if you're willing to read deeper) is because of the fact that the company went public, and as a result of that arrangement, owes a quarterly fee to Blackstone. Remove that charge, and it's pretty much the same as last year.

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Friday, September 13, 2013 1:18 PM

Motley Fool is concerned SEAS is cherry picking the data they release. I surmise that there is some smoke there... I hope not though...

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Friday, September 13, 2013 1:28 PM

Vater said:

... couldn't it be considered equally morally bankrupt to expect everyone else to fund my health care?

Obamacare requires people to buy insurance from private companies. Taxpayers subsidizing lower income people to allow them to buy insurance to me is no different from the home mortgage interest deduction. Taxpayers provide subsidies to home buyers to encourage home ownership

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Friday, September 13, 2013 1:45 PM

That analysis would be perfect if there was a law requiring everybody buy a home.

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Friday, September 13, 2013 2:06 PM

Sorry, not interested in this debate, just expressing an opinion, the merit of which you can judge on your own.

I think health care is a morally based human right that everyone should have access to.

You don't.

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Friday, September 13, 2013 2:19 PM

You must be confused about who said what...

But I am proud to live in a country that so freely provides access to health care to everybody.

Last edited by Aamilj, Friday, September 13, 2013 2:22 PM
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Friday, September 13, 2013 2:32 PM

Health care is not a right.

A right is not something someone gives you- it's something that no one can take away.

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