Down 21% this month: Are Village Roadshow Ltd shares a buy?

Village Roadshow Ltd (ASX: VRL) shares are one of the worst performers on the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) in the last month losing 21% of their value.

Although, crisis-hit Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH) and mining company Arrium Ltd (ASX: ARI) have the dubious honour of being the two worst performers ahead of Village Roadshow.

For the half-year period which ended 31 December 2015, the company reported a net loss of $3.5 million. This was down from a profit of $13.8 million in the same period a year earlier, and came despite an 11.5% rise in revenue to $524 million.

The result was mainly attributable to a one-off material loss of $25.5 million from changes in equity accounting and a small increase in corporate expenses. As the company works on extremely narrow margins, sudden increases in expenses can cause all sorts of problems for the bottom line.

The market didn’t take kindly to these results and a severe 14% sell-off ensued. Since then the shares have gradually drifted lower as market sentiment remained largely negative.

Today, however, Village Roadshow shareholders will be pleased to see the shares trading in positive territory again. Could this be a change in fortunes for the under-pressure entertainment and media company?

I am optimistic that the increasing level of tourism that Australia is experiencing will be a great benefit to the company’s theme parks and help boost top line growth. Additionally, as it is getting more expensive for Australians to travel abroad, there is a good possibility that domestic tourism will start to increase also. This would be a further boost for the company in my opinion.

With a string of key releases in the pipeline I expect the cinema side of the business to perform strongly in the second-half of the year. Movies such as Batman vs Superman and the Finding Nemo sequel should ensure there are plenty of bums on seats.

So all in all I don’t think things are as bad as they seem for the company. The first-half result was a big disappointment, but the market is still anticipating earnings to come in at 34.6 cents per share for the full year.

This means the shares are trading at an estimated forward price-to-earnings ratio of 15, which is only a slight premium to rival Ardent Leisure Group (ASX: AAD).

If the company has a great second half to the year then I have little doubt that investors will be rewarded with excellent share price gains. I would recommend adding this one to your watch list today.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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