Village Roadshow Ltd shares are plunging on theme park worries

The shares of Village Roadshow Ltd (ASX: VRL) have been one of the worst performers on the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) today following its AGM.

At one stage its shares sunk as much as 6.7% before rebounding to sit around 4% lower at the time of writing.

The decline appears to relate to comments from its chairman that reveal that Village Roadshow has seen a drop in theme park visitors following the tragic events at Ardent Leisure Group’s (ASX: AAD) Dreamworld in October.

Village Roadshow’s chairman Robert Kirby explained that:

“We have seen inconsistent trading following the tragic incident at Dreamworld in October. We do believe it will take time for the community and the marketplace to fully recover from the tragedy. We expect to have a better understanding of the impact by the half year results announcement and will provide more information at that time.”

As the company derives almost a quarter of its sales from its numerous theme parks, underperformance in the segment is likely to noticeably impact its overall performance.

But asides from the theme parks segment, I was pleased with the company’s overall performance thus far in FY 2017.

Its Film Distribution division in particular has had a solid start to the year thanks to releases such as Suicide Squad, Sully and Bad Moms. This looks set to continue thanks to upcoming film releases which include Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Arrival, and Wonder Woman.

At just 13x FY 2017’s estimated earnings I feel Village Roadshow is great value. Although things are mixed at present, the inbound tourism boom that Australia is experiencing gives me reason to believe that the company is positioned for robust long-term growth.

I believe it is worthy of investment right now, however investors may want to hold back until it provides its next update in February to see if its theme park segment’s performance has improved.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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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