ASX 200 midday update: Aristocrat’s earnings beat, Webjet flops, retailers smashed

The ASX 200 is deep in the red on Thursday…

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Red line going down on an ASX market chart which symbolises a falling share price.

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At lunch on Thursday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has followed the lead of Wall Street and is tumbling notably lower. The benchmark index is currently down 1.55% to 7,072 points.

Here’s what is happening on the ASX 200 today:

Aristocrat shares storm higher

The Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL) share price is storming higher today despite the market selloff. This follows a positive reaction to the gaming technology company’s half-year results. Aristocrat reported a 23.1% increase in operating revenue to $2,745.4 million and an impressive 40.9% increase in NPATA to $580.1 million. The latter was well ahead of the consensus estimate of $523 million. Aristocrat also announced a $500 million on-market share buyback.

Webjet falls on full-year results

The Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) share price is sliding on Thursday following the release of the online travel agent’s full-year results. For the 12 months ended 31 March, Webjet reported revenue growth of 258% to $138 million and an EBITDA loss of $15 million. According to a note out of Goldman Sachs, it was expecting Webjet to report revenue of $143.6 million and EBITDA of $1.5 million. One positive, though, was that the company’s operating cash flow of $71.5 million was well ahead of Goldman’s estimate of $43.4 million.

Retail shares tumble

The retail sector has been hammered on Thursday, with the likes of JB Hi-Fi Limited (ASX: JBH) and Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) falling particularly heavily during the morning session. This has been driven by the release of very disappointing results from a couple of major retailers in the United States overnight. Target Corp saw its shares crash 25% lower on Wall Street after it revealed that rising inflation is denting customer spending.

Best and worst ASX 200 performers

The best performer on the ASX 200 on Thursday has been the volatile Imugene Limited (ASX: IMU) share price with a 7% gain on no news. Going the other way, the worst performer has been the Novonix Ltd (ASX: NVX) share price with a 7% decline amid broad weakness in the battery materials industry.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Wesfarmers Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Webjet Ltd. 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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