Now is the time to buy SeaWorld shares, according to Goldman Sachs. Analyst Lizzie Dove initiated coverage on the Florida theme park with a buy rating. She set her price target at $75 per share, implying a 34% rally from Tuesday’s close. Despite investor caution on park stocks amid an uncertain macro environment, Dove said the risk has already been priced into shares. “We believe ongoing cost-cutting initiatives and growth opportunities from international licensing and domestic resort potential are both underappreciated by investors,” Dove wrote in a Wednesday note. “With valuation at a historic low on concerns from new competition in Orlando despite ongoing consensus revisions upwards and international licensing ventures generally ascribed a 1.5-2.0X premium by the market, we believe this provides an attractive entry point for investors,” she continued. The analyst cited SeaWorld’s high exposure to the growing Orlando market, which she noted gives it admissions pricing power. She added that increasing mobile app penetration and new park investments should support in-park spending per-cap growth in the future. To be sure, she noted that SeaWorld is falling behind Disney and Universal in terms of staffing and wages. Dove added the park could struggle to increase its staffing due to its lower hourly wage compared to its competitors. Shares gained more than 1% premarket on Wednesday. The stock is positive 4.6% year to date but is underperforming the S & P 500. —CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.
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