SeaWorld stock jumps 24% on first trading day
The theme park chain's initial public offering will pay down debt, and may deliver dividends for fun-loving investors.
With help from private equity firm Blackstone Group (BX), the amusement park chain raised $702 million by offering 26 million shares at $27 a piece. To celebrate its roughly $2.5 billion windfall, CNN notes that SeaWorld trotted penguins, an otter and a lemur through the NYSE trading floor.
Since Blackstone bought SeaWorld from brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) in 2009, SeaWorld's books have begun working their way above sea level.
Last year, revenue increased 7% to $1.4 billion while profits more than quadrupled to $77.5 billion. According to SeaWorld CEO Jim Atchison, the funds from the company's stock offering will help pay down its debt, though the company is already promising shareholders a dividend of 80 cents a year.
Sea World runs 11 theme parks, including three SeaWorld locations and the Busch Gardens franchise -- the last remnant of its ties to Anheuser-Busch. This year, it plans to open "Antarctica: Empire of the Penguins" at its Orlando theme park and give visitors a view of more than 250 penguins.
With April more than halfway over and Memorial Day and summer fast approaching, SeaWorld stock is just another way for cubicle-bound investors to get a piece of everybody else's fun in the sun. Theme park chains Six Flags (SIX) and Cedar Fair (FUN) are both publicly traded and have both seen a more than 20% boost this year. There's always Disney (DIS) stock, which is up roughly 15% in 2013, but its price and the diversity of Disney's holdings beyond its theme parks make those shares a wild ride.
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[BRIEFING.COM] The major averages ended the midweek session on a flat note after spending the day inside narrow ranges. The S&P 500 hovered near the 2,000 mark for the majority of the trading day, but slumped to new lows during the last hour of action. The index then returned to its flat line, where it settled for the day. For the third day in a row, participation left a lot to be desired with just 487 million shares changing hands at the NYSE.
Equity indices opened with slim gains, ... More
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