As the pandemic is slowly turning into an endemic, economic-reopening-friendly stocks, like leisure stocks, have flied higher. Airlines, hotels and resultants stocks caught attention in recent trading as U.S. Global Jets ETF JETS and SonicShares Airlines, Hotels, Cruise Lines ETF TRYP are up 8.1% and 2.6%, this year, respectively against a 6.4% decline in the S&P 500.
“This pent-up demand is also evident in the surge of new business openings in nightlife, beauty, and travel and hotels, which all increased from the 2021 levels in Q1. Consumer behavior and business activity suggested favorable economic conditions for local businesses in the first quarter,” said Pria Mudan, data science leader at Yelp, as quoted on Yahoo Finance.
And why not? There has been widespread vaccination globally. Moderna MRNA said trial results suggest redesigned vaccines can better protect against variants. Novavax NVAX indicated that vaccine targeting Covid and flu delivered upbeat results in early data. Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster too created strong immune response in kids of 5–11 years.
No wonder, travel and leisure stocks have gained momentum in the past month and outdid the broder market.
Airlines Taking Speed
Airlines such as United (UAL) and American AAL predict reaching profitability amid strong demand in the latest earnings release. A stronger fare environment to keep pace with the surge in fuel costs is another plus for the companies.
Investors should note that for the second quarter of this year, United Airlines is forecasting a 10% operating margin, and the highest quarterly sales in its history, with revenue per passenger mile up 17% over 2019, as higher fares offset a spike in expenses. There was a rise in bookings (both Spring Breaks and business travel) for airlines in March.
Luxury Hotels Look Grand Again
The U.S. hotel industry reported revenue per available room (RevPAR) in 2021 that was 83.2% of the pre-pandemic comparable, according to the latest data from STR, pointing to the recovery. Thanks to Spring Break travel, the U.S. hotel industry reported 4% increase in RevPAR in March from March 2019. Average daily rate (ADR) was 10.9% in