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ASX 200 lunch update: Aristocrat Leisure & Webjet higher, Westpac lower

At lunch on Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 index has given back yesterday’s gains and tumbled lower. The benchmark index is down a disappointing 1% to 6,742.6 points at the time of writing.

Here’s what is happening on the market today:

Westpac AUSTRAC news.   

The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price has tumbled 2% lower on Wednesday after acknowledging the commencement of civil proceedings by AUSTRAC. This is in relation to alleged contraventions of Westpac’s obligations under the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act.

Aristocrat Leisure impresses.

The Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL) share price is zooming higher following the release of its full year results. The gaming technology company delivered normalised operating revenue of $4,387.4 million and NPATA of $894.4 million. This was a 22.7% and 22.6% increase, respectively, on the prior corresponding period.

ALS half year result.

The ALS Ltd (ASX: ALQ) share price is racing higher after the release of a solid half year result. During the first half of FY 2020, ALS reported revenue from continuing operations of $919.1 million and underlying net profit after tax of $98.2 million. This was an 11.3% and 5.3% increase, respectively, on the prior corresponding period. The latter beat its guidance range of $90 million to $95 million.

Webjet guidance

The Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) share price is trading 4.5% higher on the day of its annual general meeting. At the event the company provided its guidance for the full year. Management expects FY 2020 underlying EBITDA, which excludes one-off revenues and costs and the impact of AASB16, to be between $157 million and $167 million. This represents growth of approximately 26% to 34% over FY 2019.

Best and worst performers.

The best performer on the benchmark index on Wednesday is the ALS share price with its 7% gain. Investors have been buying its shares after its half year results beat the market’s expectations. The worst performer on the index is the Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX: SAR) share price. Its shares are down 9% after returning from a trading halt. This morning the gold miner announced that it successfully raised $701 million from institutional investors at $2.95 per share. This will be used to partly fund the 50% acquisition of the Super Pit.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Webjet Ltd. 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 Scott Phillips.

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