SeaWorld's Stock Rallies After Janney Boosts Rating, Price Target

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Shares of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. rallied 1.8% in light premarket trade Tuesday, after Janney Montgomery Scott turned bullish on the theme park operator, on the belief that an expected improvement in Orlando is not fully appreciated by investors. Analyst Tyler Batory upgraded SeaWorld to buy, after being at neutral for the last 10 months. He raised his fair value estimate for the stock to $24, which is 29% above Monday's closing price of $18.57, from $16. Batory's expectations of an improved performance at the Orlando park stems from recent price increases, stronger market fundamentals, drive and overnight visitation growth, benefits from early-season pass sales and events contribution to longer park hours. "Essentially, we think the company can harvest the benefits of running SeaWorld Orlando like a regional theme park and implementing several of the strategies that have supported other industry participants," Batory wrote in a note to clients. The stock has lost 5.7% year to date through Monday, while the S&P 500 has gained 10%.

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