SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (NYSE:SEAS) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Citigroup Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.

Several other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Janney Montgomery Scott reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $14.50 target price (down previously from $19.00) on shares of SeaWorld Entertainment in a research note on Monday, August 8th. Credit Suisse Group AG raised SeaWorld Entertainment from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price objective for the company from $15.00 to $12.00 in a research note on Thursday, August 11th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Wedbush reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $16.00 price objective (down from $18.00) on shares of SeaWorld Entertainment in a research note on Monday, June 27th. FBR & Co reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $23.00 price objective on shares of SeaWorld Entertainment in a research note on Wednesday, July 6th. Finally, Dougherty & Co dropped their price objective on SeaWorld Entertainment from $6.00 to $5.50 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, September 2nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. SeaWorld Entertainment currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $15.07.

SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE:SEAS) opened at 12.28 on Thursday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $12.99 and its 200 day moving average price is $16.42. SeaWorld Entertainment has a 12 month low of $11.77 and a 12 month high of $21.85. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.05 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 50.53 and a beta of 0.60.

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SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE:SEAS) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.21. The company earned $371.10 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $377.19 million. SeaWorld Entertainment had a return on equity of 12.97% and a net margin of 1.52%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 5.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.22 earnings per share. Analysts predict that SeaWorld Entertainment will post $0.61 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 7th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 29th will be issued a dividend of $0.10 per share. This represents a $0.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.26%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, September 27th. SeaWorld Entertainment’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 381.84%.

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of SeaWorld Entertainment by 7.9% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 8,201 shares of the company’s stock worth $117,000 after buying an additional 597 shares during the period. Teacher Retirement System of Texas increased its stake in shares of SeaWorld Entertainment by 6.0% in the second quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 9,353 shares of the company’s stock worth $134,000 after buying an additional 533 shares during the period. Eqis Capital Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of SeaWorld Entertainment during the second quarter worth about $144,000. Pitcairn Co. acquired a new stake in shares of SeaWorld Entertainment during the second quarter worth about $163,000. Finally, Laurion Capital Management LP acquired a new stake in shares of SeaWorld Entertainment during the second quarter worth about $182,000. 96.74% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About SeaWorld Entertainment

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc is a theme park and entertainment company. It owns or licenses a portfolio of brands, including SeaWorld, Sea Rescue and Busch Gardens. It has a diversified portfolio of approximately 10 destination and regional theme parks that are located across the United States. Its theme parks feature a range of rides, shows and other attractions.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:SEAS

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