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SeaWorld Says It Will Stop Paying Shareholders A Dividend

Photo caption:

Photo by Associated Press

SeaWorld Adventure Park trainer Ken Peters, left, looks to a killer whale during a performance at Shamu Stadium in San Diego, 2006.

Troubled theme park operator SeaWorld says it will soon stop paying its shareholders a quarterly dividend.

SeaWorld, known for its water shows featuring killer whales and dolphins, has been dealing with falling attendance and revenue as people's feelings about using animals for entertainment has soured. Earlier this year, the Orlando, Florida, company said it won't breed killer whales and stop using them in shows.

The company said late Monday that it will pay its last dividend on Oct. 7, and the amount it pays will be cut by 52 percent to 10 cents for each share owned, down from 21 cents in the previous quarter. SeaWorld says the money saved on dividends will be used to buy its own shares.

Last month, the company reported that its second-quarter revenue fell 5 percent from the year before, and the number of people entering its parks fell nearly 8 percent to 6 million.

SeaWorld operates 12 parks, including Busch Gardens, Sesame Place and Aquatica.

Shares of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. fell 62 cents, or almost 5 percent, to $12.07 in morning trading Tuesday.

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