SeaWorld Entertainment shares lost more than a third of their value after the theme-park operator slashed forecasts amid a controversy over its killer whale shows that has hurt attendance.
The shares fell 33 percent after the company also reported lower-than-expected profit and revenue for the second quarter ended June 30.
Protests against orca shows at SeaWorld’s amusement parks intensified after a 2013 film, “Blackfish,” documented the killing of a trainer at the company’s Orlando park in 2010 by the whales. A bill has been introduced in California proposing a ban on using killer whales in entertainment shows at amusement parks.
“The Company believes attendance in the quarter was impacted by demand pressures related to recent media attention surrounding proposed legislation in the state of California,” SeaWorld officials said in a statement Wednesday.
SeaWorld said it expects revenue to decline 6 to 7 percent this year. In the second quarter, sales fell 1.5 percent, to $405.2 million. Net income was $37.3 million. The company’s stock, which closed at $18.90, was the top percentage loser on the New York Stock Exchange.
Cisco said Wednesday that it will lay off about 6,000 workers, or 8 percent of its workforce, as part of a restructuring.
The company, which makes routers, switches and software, said the layoffs will affect workers in operations around the world. Cisco had about 75,000 employees at the end of July. Including the latest round, Cisco has eliminated more than 18,000 jobs in the past three years.
The announcement was made during a conference call about Cisco’s fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. The San Jose-based company reported a 1 percent decline in profit, to $2.25 billion, as revenue dipped to $12.36 billion from $12.42 billion. Its adjusted earnings for the three months ended July 26, its fourth quarter, came to 55 cents per share, 2 cents more than analysts expected, according to Zacks Investment Research.
During the conference call, Chief Financial Officer Frank Calderoni said the company estimates pretax charges of up to $700 million, with about $250 million to $350 million recorded in the current quarter, for the restructuring.
— Associated Press
● WellPoint wants to switch its corporate name back to the Anthem brand that its health-insurance customers know. The nation’s second-largest health insurer said the name it used before combining in 2004 with WellPoint Health Networks is the best brand to go by in a market that is becoming more consumer-focused. WellPoint sells coverage using its Anthem name in several states, including California, Kentucky and its home state of Indiana. The company does not sell plans under the WellPoint name. WellPoint will hold a shareholder vote on the change to Anthem in November.
● Apple is banning the use of two potentially hazardous chemicals during the final assembly of iPhones and iPads. The decision comes five months after two activist groups, China Labor Watch and Green America, launched a petition drive calling on Apple to abandon the use of benzene and n-hexane, which are often found in solvents used to clean machinery and electronics. Apple is still allowing use of the two chemicals during the early production phases of its products.
● Virgin America flight attendants voted to establish the first union at the airline partly owned by British billionaire Richard Branson, ending its status as the largest U.S. carrier without organized labor. Collective bargaining with the Transport Workers Union raises the prospect of higher operating costs for the airline, which filed July 28 for an initial public offering. Wednesday’s vote follows a decision in April by pilots at JetBlue Airways to join the Air Line Pilots Association, ending that carrier’s status as the largest nonunion U.S. airline at that time.
● Burger King is getting rid of its lower-calorie french fries at most restaurants after less than a year. The Miami-based chain said in a statement that it gave its franchisees the option to continue selling the french fries earlier this week. Only about 2,500 of the approximately 7,400 locations in the United States and Canada opted to continue selling them as a permanent item. The others have started phasing them out. The french fries, called “Satisfries,” were mocked in some corners, with one Web site referring to them as “Saddest Fries.”
● A day after announcing that it will shut down next month, Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City told a bankruptcy court judge it is still negotiating with potential buyers. In a notice adjourning an auction of Revel that had been set for Thursday, its attorneys said they are engaged in “ongoing negotiations” with “certain potential bidders” they did not identify. The filing follows Revel’s announcement that will shut down by Sept. 10, having been unable to find a buyer. The casino held out hope a buyer could eventually be found through bankruptcy court, but it said it needs to begin winding down its operations.
— From news services
● 8:30 a.m.: Weekly jobless claims.
● 10 a.m.: Weekly mortgage rates.
● Earnings: J.C. Penney, Nordstrom, Wal-Mart Stores.