SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. on Feb. 28 reported a net loss of $11.1 million for the fourth quarter of 2018, compared to net loss of $20.4 million in the same quarter of 2017, beating analysts' expectations.
The S&P Global Market Intelligence mean consensus estimate for GAAP net loss was $11.33 million.
For the three months ended Dec. 31, 2018, diluted net loss per share was 13 cents, slightly better than the mean consensus estimate for GAAP net loss per share of 14 cents. Total revenue increased 5.5% year over year to $280 million.
For full year 2018, the Florida-based company's diluted EPS came in at 52 cents, just ahead of the mean consensus estimate for GAAP EPS of 51 cents.
Net income for the year increased to $44.8 million from a net loss of $202.4 million in 2017. Total revenue rose 8.6% to $1.37 billion from $1.26 billion in 2017.
Gus Antorcha, CEO of SeaWorld, said in a statement that the company remains confident of achieving its goal of $475 million to $500 million of adjusted EBITDA in 2020. For full year 2018, adjusted EBITDA came in at $401.3 million.
SeaWorld's board also approved a $158 million extension to its existing share buyback program, bringing the total amount to $250 million.
The theme park and entertainment company repurchased approximately 3.65 million shares for $98 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. SeaWorld had about $92 million available as of Dec. 31, 2018, under a previously authorized share repurchase program.