Why is the Webjet (ASX:WEB) share price underperforming Helloworld in December?

two older men wearing colourful tropical patterned shirts and hats like tourists puzzle over a map one is holding while he other holds up a hand as if indicating he doesn't know where they are going.

The Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) share price has been struggling this month. Meanwhile, that of Helloworld Travel Ltd (ASX: HLO) has surged higher.

Having ended November trading for $2.23, Helloworld’s shares are now swapping hands for $2.52. That represents a 13% gain.

However, the Webjet share price has slumped over the same period, falling almost 4% to trade at $5.28.

For context, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has gained 3.6% over the course of December.

So, what’s been weighing on the Webjet share price and buoying Helloworld’s stock? Let’s take a look.

Why is the Helloworld share price gaining as Webjet’s falls?

The Webjet share price has been struggling over December as the company’s short interest remains high.

As of The Motley Fool Australia’s most recent weekly short-selling breakdown, 8.8% of its shares were in the hands of short-sellers. Though, that figure has been falling over recent weeks despite no news being released by the company.

Perhaps, the market’s confidence the Omicron COVID-19 variant won’t result in another wave of global lockdowns might be increasing.

Particularly, since Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared the country is “not going back to lockdowns” last week.

Still, Webjet’s stock hasn’t bounced back from its unexplained mid-December slump.

Meanwhile, the Helloworld share price surged 16% on 15 December when the company announced it’s undergoing a $175 million asset sale.

It is selling its corporate and entertainment travel businesses in Australia and New Zealand to Corporate Travel Management Ltd (ASX: CTD).

Following the divestment, Helloworld will be focusing on its leisure and corporate travel networks, air consolidation business, wholesale and inbound businesses, and its logistics business.

The resulting funds will allow it to repay debt and capitalise on pent-up consumer demand as borders reopen following COVID-19.

Though, despite its strong month’s performance, the Helloworld share price has only broken even year to date. Meanwhile, the Webjet share price is almost 4% higher than it was at the start of the year.

The post Why is the Webjet (ASX:WEB) share price underperforming Helloworld in December? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns and has recommended Helloworld Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns and has recommended Helloworld 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 Bruce Jackson.

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