Citi Upgrades SeaWorld To Buy On 'Compelling' Risk/Reward

Citi analyst Jason Bazinet upgraded SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS) to Buy from Neutral with a price target of $24, up from $9. 

The stock closed Wednesday up $1.28 to $18.57.

The analyst expects "ongoing challenges in a post-COVID environment" and models 2022 attendance 5% below 2019 levels. However, SeaWorld's strategic efforts to promote its season pass has helped grow in-park spend, particularly in 2018 and 2019, Bazinet tells investors in a research note.

If assuming 2022 attendance is 20% below 2019 levels, the analyst gets a target price of $10, or $8 downside from current levels. However, Bazinet sees "many more cases for upside" to current prices, including better revenue, higher EBITDA margins and higher multiples. As such, the analyst views SeaWorld's risk/reward as "compelling" at current share levels.

Disclosure: None.

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