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SeaWorld shares dive after big Credit Suisse downgrade

Seaworld
Sandy Huffaker | Corbis | Getty Images
Seaworld

Shares of SeaWorld dropped about 3 percent Wednesday after Credit Suisse said the theme park firm's turnaround thesis is now "beached."

Analysts at the Swiss bank slashed its rating on the stock to "underperform" from "outperform" and cut the price target to $15 from $27.

"While we believe that the theme park sector in general offers investors a strong pure-play on the recovering low/middle end consumer, along with substantial barriers to entry, expectations for SEAS are ahead of themselves heading into the 2016 season, and we see downside to estimates and multiple compression as results fail to materialize," Credit Suisse analysts said in a Wednesday note to clients.

A SeaWorld spokesperson later told CNBC in a statement: "We can't specifically comment on an analyst report, but we are we are implementing the strategic plan we laid out in November 2015, and are seeing signs of stabilization in the business as reported in our earnings call this month."

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The stock traded near $18 Wednesday.

Over the past year, SeaWorld's stock has fallen nearly 16 percent and has shed more than 9 percent in 2016.

SEAS this year

Source: FactSet

— CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

Disclosure: Credit Suisse provided investment banking services to SeaWorld within the past 12 months