Themepark owner swept up in ASX carnage

THEME PARK owner Ardent Leisure has lost close to half its value today after withdrawing market guidance last week for its Main Event business.

By 2.50pm shares in the Dreamworld owner had fallen 46.5 per cent, or 17 cents, to just 19.5c - wiping $81.54 million off the company's market capitalisation.

It followed Ardent shares falling by 6.4 per cent on Friday to close at 36.5c.

The company announced on Friday that because of coronavirus it was withdrawing its FY20 earnings guidance for its Main Event business, which runs entertainment centres in the US.

It said it expects the impact of coronavirus to continue for longer than first thought.

Shares in Dreamworld owner Ardent Leisure lost almost half their value today. Pics Adam Head
Shares in Dreamworld owner Ardent Leisure lost almost half their value today. Pics Adam Head

"Both Main Event and Theme Parks are pursuing a range of mitigating actions in response to the downturn in guest attendance," it said.

"These include adjusting operating costs, deferring non-essential capital investment, and reviewing other non-critical business activities and discretionary expenses. The Theme Parks division will continue to focus marketing efforts on the domestic market in the short to medium term."

Casino operator Star Group was another company to see its stock lose value.

In intraday trading it lost 22 per cent of its value, or 59 cents, to fall to $2.04.

An artist impression of the The Star Gold Coast Masterplan Development.
An artist impression of the The Star Gold Coast Masterplan Development.


The share slump wiped $538 million off the company's market capitalisation.

Ardent Leisure isn't the only theme park operator to see its share price plunge.

On Friday Village Roadshow shares plummeted 17 per cent, wiping $87.83 million off the company's market value.

Shares fell today a further 12 per cent to $1.90, losing 26 cents.

Australia's share market was down more than five per cent at noon amid a chaotic stream of coronavirus news including rate cuts, travel bans, profit warnings, flight reductions and cash injections.

The benchmark S & P/ASX200 was down 291.3 points, or 5.26 per cent, at 5,248 at noon AEDT despite rate cuts to ease coronavirus financial pain by the Fed Reserve and other central banks.

The broader All Ordinaries index sank 290.7 points, or 5.2 per cent, to 5,300 as big financial stocks led the entire market down.

The Reserve Bank of Australia will give the banking system extra liquidity through its market operations as part of a package to ensure businesspeople and householders have access to credit.



’Fun police’: Why council’s cracking down on popular trend

premium_icon ’Fun police’: Why council’s cracking down on popular trend

Council apologises for being “the fun police”

RESTRICTIONS EASE: What's open on Coast and new rules

premium_icon RESTRICTIONS EASE: What's open on Coast and new rules

The theatre will reopen in a limited capacity

‘Life saving’ road expansion gets start date after 40 years

premium_icon ‘Life saving’ road expansion gets start date after 40 years

Detailed images have been created to show what the new road will look like