Investors are already betting that Tokyo Disneyland, one of Japan’s top tourist spots, will return to normal after getting battered by the coronavirus pandemic, market data suggest.
Shares in the operator of the amusement park, Oriental Land Co., are back to levels in February, before the virus outbreak took hold in Japan. And in the debt market, the company’s sale of 100 billion yen ($943 million) of bonds last week met with strong investor demand, according to underwriters, even after it posted an operating loss.
All these numbers indicate that despite the country being largely closed to travelers from overseas for now and the amusement park operating at maximum attendance of 50% of the usual, jam-packed level, investors figure that its business is set to come back. Japan Credit Rating Agency Ltd. has kept its AA grade for Oriental Land, the third-highest score, saying that the firm’s strong capacity to attract visitors and solid financial base will help its business recovery.
The Covid-19 pandemic forced the company to close its two amusement parks, Disneyland and DisneySea, for four months earlier this year, and it reopened them on July 1.
GPS data suggest that visitor numbers are around 40-50% of last year’s level, according to Hirofumi Oda, a senior analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc. He projects that visitors to the parks will rise to 28.5 million in the next fiscal year starting April 2021 compared with 12 million in the current 12-month period. There were about 29 million visitors last fiscal year, Oriental Land data show.
SMBC Nikko also forecasts a 100 billion yen operating profit for the company next fiscal year after a 19 billion yen loss this year, according to a report.
Oriental Land spokeswoman Ryoko Nagashima declined to comment on the company’s outlook, saying it’s planning to release a comment at its second-quarter earnings.
The Disneyland operator’s sale of five-year, seven-year and 10-year bonds last week was its biggest yen deal in over two decades. Orders exceeded the amount of notes sold for all the tranches, with demand for the five-year debt coming to 1.8 times the securities offered, according to the underwriters.