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Sea World Likely to Face SEC Claims Over Misleading Investors

04/13/18 at 02:53pm in Sea World Likely to Face SEC Claims Over Misleading Investors (Latest Edit: 04/13/18 at 02:54pm by Lolers.)
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Case in point as to why SEAS needs to give more love to its parks that don't exploit animals for entertainment? (Preferably they'd consider ceasing animal exploitation altogether - it might make them more popular.) What a mess.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/...-investors
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04/13/18 at 05:27pm in Sea World Likely to Face SEC Claims Over Misleading Investors (Latest Edit: 04/13/18 at 05:28pm by Zimmy.)
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One of their corporate values is animal preservation.  I am a huge advocate of that, and frankly one of the things that attracts me to the parks is zoo.  That being said, I have never liked the animal shows except when it was to demonstrate Operant Conditioning.

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04/13/18 at 05:57pm in Sea World Likely to Face SEC Claims Over Misleading Investors (Latest Edit: 04/13/18 at 06:00pm by Joe.)
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(04/13/18 02:53pm)Lolers Wrote:  exploit animals for entertainment

I don't think this is a fair statement at all. All of the animals that perform at SEAS parks do so voluntarily and through positive reinforcement only. No animal is forced to perform, nor is any animal punished for choosing not to.

I don't mean to start a debate here; that is a discussion for another thread where ideas can be fleshed out more thoroughly. However, I felt it was necessary to address that the underlying premise of your post was wholly disagreeable in my opinion.

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04/13/18 at 06:35pm in Sea World Likely to Face SEC Claims Over Misleading Investors (Latest Edit: 04/13/18 at 06:40pm by Lolers.)
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(04/13/18 05:57pm)Joe Wrote:  
(04/13/18 02:53pm)Lolers Wrote:  exploit animals for entertainment

I don't think this is a fair statement at all. All of the animals that perform at SEAS parks do so voluntarily and through positive reinforcement only. No animal is forced to perform, nor is any animal punished for choosing not to.

I don't mean to start a debate here; that is a discussion for another thread where ideas can be fleshed out more thoroughly. However, I felt it was necessary to address that the underlying premise of your post was wholly  disagreeable in my opinion.

Total respect for your opinion, I just have a different one. I have no problem with zoos and animal sanctuaries (provided they're legit and treat their animals correctly). In fact, there's an animal sanctuary in Ohio called Noah's Lost Ark that I love visiting. I recommend a stop there to anyone that travelling that way...but I'm going on a tangent here.

Regardless of differences of opinion about animal performances, in my opinion ceasing animal performances altogether would do wonders for Sea World's negative publicity. Even if it's true that they do treat their animals kindly, they need to do some damage control. Why not change their model so that guests can some and see the animals and learn about them, but without the tricks and shows?

Also, I poorly communicated the real purpose for my original post (or rather, didn't really communicate it at all). I'm more concerned with how the news reported today in the link will affect investment in BGW than I am about Sea World itself.
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04/13/18 at 07:49pm in Sea World Likely to Face SEC Claims Over Misleading Investors (Latest Edit: 04/13/18 at 07:50pm by Zimmy.)
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Lolers,
You are correct, even if the Blackfish pains are mostly in the past and the Seas is completely on the side of the angels at this point a civil suit brought by the SEC, whom I think most see as a "good" agency will not bode well.  The SEC has a rather good percentage for their win/loss.  I guess that happens when you get to pick and choose your opponents.  Further this is a case of perception, did or did not Seas mislead the public and investors regarding the impact of blackfish on their attendance.

I do not know what the litmus test would be, but I do not think it is going to be that hard to claimant to demonstrate.  The numbers speak for themselves.  But then again as I like to point out, I do ops, management, and strategy, I am not an accountant.

Frankly this kind of, probably long and drawn out VERY public legal battle with a potentially very expensive result is the kind of thing that does not just end careers but ends companies.  That of couese presumes they last that long.  Given their current problems and whatever the hell is going to happen next week from the presidential-twitter-international-markets is entirely anyone's guess.  Chaos knows how the dollar is going to fair over the next year, with the potentially looming tariffs. Hell devaluation could be coming our way.

Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate! - William of Occam
I'm serious now, who here wants my job? - NASA Director James Webb
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Here's my thing:

It's going to be very very hard to prove that is the reason, especially since lawyers and accountants much smarter than us are going to be pointing to things like the economy. Blackfish played a part, but like we've all pointed out there's plenty of other reasons.
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(04/13/18 07:49pm)Zimmy Wrote:  But then again as I like to point out, I do ops, management, and strategy, I am not an accountant.

Maybe Sea World should consider hiring you - they're going to need people with ops, management and strategy skills to save their public perception. I agree with Warfelg that Sea World will argue many contributing factors, nuances of securities law, etc. For me though, regardless of who wins or loses, I'm more concerned about further erosion of their public perception and the additional hit this will take on their ability to invest in BGW. Maybe it's a factor in why Madrid plans have been so quiet lately? I just hope I'm being too pessimistic in worrying about the possibility of BGW becoming a sacrificial lamb.
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(04/14/18 09:31am)Lolers Wrote:  I just hope I'm being too pessimistic in worrying about the possibility of BGW becoming a sacrificial lamb.

No pun intended.

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Post: #9
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Setting aside the discussion of the impact on sales and image, I am concerned about the future of their exemplary conservation programs.

BGT is an accredited zoo, with cutting edge animal care programs. SWO has a huge rehabilitation and veterinary facility. BGT, BGW, and SWO are all animal rescues, which practice modern, positive reinforcement techniques.

I have never supported the wacky animal hijinks shows, which seem exploitative. I believe those are run under contract by an outside company.

The animal care attractions, however, serve dual purposes. They (less now) draw in people, which helps fund the conservation programs. They also educate the public about animals and proper care and training. I have, personally, learned a lot from my various behind the scenes tours at all three parks.

If SEAS sunsets all of their animal programs, what becomes of the animals and their care facilities?

"Wit has some truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words." -- Dorothy Parker
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Post: #10
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I share the same concerns as Nicole. And while yes the subject matter in Blackfish is very troubling, the work done by the parks towards conservation is absolutely top notch, and what I really really wish that they would do a counter thing to Blackshish, like put out their own documentary showing the benfits of their efforts.
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04/14/18 at 11:42am in Sea World Likely to Face SEC Claims Over Misleading Investors (Latest Edit: 04/14/18 at 11:43am by Zimmy.)
Post: #11
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(04/14/18 09:31am)Lolers Wrote:  Maybe Sea World should consider hiring you - they're going to need people with ops, management and strategy skills to save their public perception. I agree with Warfelg that Sea World will argue many contributing factors, nuances of securities law, etc. For me though, regardless of who wins or loses, I'm more concerned about further erosion of their public perception and the additional hit this will take on their ability to invest in BGW. Maybe it's a factor in why Madrid plans have been so quiet lately? I just hope I'm being too pessimistic in worrying about the possibility of BGW becoming a sacrificial lamb.

See that's just it, they don't have to prove the why of it, just that it happened.  Seas already admitted that they were misleading shareholders.

Yet SeaWorld executives maintained for months that the documentary and protests were not hurting attendance. It wasn’t until August 2014, after a California assemblyman proposed legislation that would have banned orca shows, that SeaWorld conceded negative publicity was crimping visitation.

What the SEC is taking issue with is not that CNN ran a one sided politically charged special about Seas' treatment of Orcas, or even that Seas' attendance dropped because of same.  Those facts are not in dispute.  What they take issue with is how long it took Seas was not to tell share holders that the CNN special was in fact having a significant negative impact.

Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate! - William of Occam
I'm serious now, who here wants my job? - NASA Director James Webb
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04/14/18 at 11:47am in Sea World Likely to Face SEC Claims Over Misleading Investors (Latest Edit: 04/14/18 at 11:54am by Lolers.)
Post: #12
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I definitely think they should continue their animal conservation and education programs. It's only the performances I take issue with. I feel the impact on sales an image, to some extent, goes hand-in-hand with their ability to continue to fund those programs.

And on another (still related) note, BGW should bring back their goats. I miss the goats.

(04/14/18 11:42am)Zimmy Wrote:  See that's just it, they don't have to prove the why of it, just that it happened.  Seas already admitted that they were misleading shareholders.

Yet SeaWorld executives maintained for months that the documentary and protests were not hurting attendance. It wasn’t until August 2014, after a California assemblyman proposed legislation that would have banned orca shows, that SeaWorld conceded negative publicity was crimping visitation.

What the SEC is taking issue with is not that CNN ran a one sided politically charged special about Seas' treatment of Orcas, or even that Seas' attendance dropped because of same.  Those facts are not in dispute.  What they take issue with is how long it took Seas was not to tell share holders that the CNN special was in fact having a significant negative impact.

On a high level I agree, but I guarantee the definition of "misleading shareholders" will be beaten to death, so it won't be a cut and dry issue by any means. From a legal perspective, admitting the negative publicity affected visitation is completely different than an admission that they misled shareholders.
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I too am pro-goat. I am also pro-serval. But they took him away too. I think they need to find the cow a friend or take her somewhere where she can have a friend.

Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate! - William of Occam
I'm serious now, who here wants my job? - NASA Director James Webb
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Post: #14
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The big questions are how is this going to turn out and how long it will take to play out. Unfortunately it looks like the SEC has a good case that SEAS delayed acknowledging that they were having problems. I just hope that due to the circumstances the SEC doesn't punish SEAS to hard over it. I mean lets face it, it seems like way too many investors seem to think that it's their right to earn a profit from every investment they have and losing money just doesn't happen and if it does they will sue to try to recoup their losses. Pro/institutional investors and and even us amateurs could see that the negative news against the company would have a negative impact on their share price.
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(04/14/18 06:13pm)Alf33 Wrote:  Pro/institutional investors and and even us amateurs could see that the negative news against the company would have a negative impact on their share price.

This was one of my first thoughts. Their investors need to hire new analysts if their current ones couldn't figure out Blackfish was going to have a negative impact. That's the American way - if you don't get what you want, litigate! (Even if you may be partially to blame.)
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