SeaWorld Shares Down 7% After Company Halts Dividend

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Shares of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. fell 7% in late trading Monday after the theme park operator halted dividends indefinitely. SeaWorld said its board of directors declared a cash dividend of 10 cents a share payable Oct. 7 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Sept. 29, down from a previous quarterly dividend of 21 cents a share. After this declaration, dividends are halted, the company said. "Future dividends, if any, and the timing of declaration of any such dividends, will be at the discretion of the Board and will depend upon, among other things, the Company's financial condition, capital needs, covenants, economic conditions and other factors that the Board may deem relevant," SeaWorld said. SeaWorld shares have been under pressure in recent years due to concerns and controversy surrounding its treatment of its killer whales. In March, the company decided to end its captive breeding program for the killer whales and to eliminate its shows in favor of educational programs.

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