By Will Feuer
SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. shares fell more than 7% in morning trading after the theme-park company reported a narrower-than-expected loss for the first quarter.
The company posted a quarterly loss of $9 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $44.9 million, or 57 cents a share, a year earlier.
SeaWorld noted that its loss was the smallest net loss the company has reported in a first quarter, which comes as the company gears up for its busy season. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting a loss of 17 cents a share.
Sales jumped almost 58% to $270.7 million, which was almost 23% above pre-pandemic levels, the company said.
From 2021 to 2022, total costs jumped almost 37% to $260.7 million, SeaWorld said.
Attendance for the quarter was 3.4 million guests, an increase of almost 54% from 2021 and almost 2% above 2019 levels. Excluding international guests and group-related attendance, both of which have yet to recover from the pandemic, attendance for the recently ended quarter increased by about 16% from 2019, SeaWorld said.
Compared with the first quarter of 2019, revenue per capita increased 20%, admission per capita increased 15%, and in-park per capita spending jumped 28%.
Despite the better-than-expected results, the company’s stock fell more than 7% in morning trading to $62.26 a share. The stock is up about 17% over the past 12 months.
Write to Will Feuer at Will.Feuer@wsj.com