Shares of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. slumped 1.3% toward a 9 1/2-month low in afternoon trade Thursday, after FBR Capital downgraded the theme park operator, citing signs of weakness at the flagship San Diego park. Analyst Barton Crockett cut his rating to market perform, after being at outperform since August 2014. He slashed his stock price target to $15 from $20. "The latest lease data from the San Diego park in June suggests that the new attraction lineup and orca show in that park over Memorial Day weekend did not revive revenue headwinds, as we had hoped," Crockett wrote in a note to clients. "That provides a cautious read for the [second-quarter] earnings report. It is also a bit cautious for the broader plan to change the orca show at all the SeaWorld parks." SeaWorld is scheduled to report second-quarter results before the market opens on Aug. 8. The company announced in September 2016 that it would spend $175 million to open new attractions and orca presentations, amid public scrutiny over its killer whale program. The stock has plunged 27% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 10.5%.
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