SeaWorld to suspend quarterly dividends

SeaWorld stock takes a dive

SeaWorld Entertainment on Monday slashed its quarterly dividend and said it would suspend future payments, six months after the company decided to stop breeding killer whales at its theme parks.

The company's shares were down more than 6 percent in premarket trading trading and ended the day about 4.5 percent lower. They are down about 36 percent this year through Monday's close.

SeaWorld, which operates marine parks in San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio, faced criticism after the release of the 2013 documentary "Blackfish," which depicted the captivity and public exhibition of killer whales as inherently cruel.

The company said in March it would stop breeding killer whales, and those currently at its parks would be the last.

SeaWorld said on Monday it would cut its dividend, payable on Oct. 7, to 10 cents per share from the 21 cents per share it paid previously.

The company also said its board had decided to suspend quarterly payouts subsequent to the latest dividend payment.

SeaWorld said it expects to use the money to buy back shares during the rest of 2016.