Is the Flight Centre share price handing ASX 200 investors a buying opportunity?

A smiling travel agent sitting at her desk working for Corporate Travel ManagementA smiling travel agent sitting at her desk working for Corporate Travel Management

The Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) share price is up 0.9% in afternoon trade on Thursday.

Shares in the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) travel stock closed yesterday trading for $18.79. Shares are currently trading for $18.95.

After a strong start to the new year, which saw the Flight Centre share price gain 37% between 3 January and 8 March, the stock has been trading in a fairly tight range. 

While that doesn’t tell us too much by itself, when a company’s stock consolidates it offers a good opportunity to dig in for some research on whether it’s worth buying.

If we take a step back, you’ll see that despite the strong run in 2023, the Flight Centre share price is still down 13% over the past 12 months.

And while shares are up 113% since the pandemic market meltdown lows of 19 March 2020, Flight Centre stock remains down 53% from 3 January that year.

Which tells me the rebound could have a lot further to run.

Are ASX 200 investors missing a profitable buying opportunity?

Whether or not the ASX 200 travel company is a good buy today certainly depends on who you ask.

Shares kicked off the week retaining their spot as the most shorted on the ASX, with an 11.8% short interest.

These short sellers clearly believe (or hope!) that the Flight Centre share price is going to drop from today’s levels.

But I wouldn’t bet on it.

Why the Flight Centre share price has room to run higher

The company remains in recovery mode from the massive pandemic hit. While shares could of course trade lower in the short term, I believe longer-term ASX 200 investors will look back and see today as a profitable buying opportunity.

Remember, while international travel numbers are recovering, they’ve yet to reach or exceed, pre-COVID levels.

But with a bit of help from China’s reopening, Flight Centre expects international capacity will hit 85% of pre-COVID levels by the end of June.

As for the most recent financials, Flight Centre reported a $2.4 million underlying post-tax loss on its half-year results for the six months ending 31 December.

Now a loss is a loss. But take note that the company reported a $188 million loss for that six-month period a year earlier.

With revenue coming in at $1 billion over the half year, the ASX 200 travel share reported underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of $95 million. One year earlier EBITDA came in at a $184 million loss.

And one more reason I believe the Flight Centre share price remains a buying opportunity is the company’s strong balance sheet.

At 31 December, Flight Centre had a $465 million net cash position. This should help steer the company through any unexpected turbulence in the months ahead.

The post Is the Flight Centre share price handing ASX 200 investors a buying opportunity? appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

Should you invest $1,000 in Flight Centre Travel Group Limited right now?

Before you consider Flight Centre Travel Group Limited, you’ll want to hear this.

Motley Fool Investing expert Scott Phillips just revealed what he believes are the 5 best stocks for investors to buy right now… and Flight Centre Travel Group Limited wasn’t one of them.

The online investing service he’s run for over a decade, Motley Fool Share Advisor, has provided thousands of paying members with stock picks that have doubled, tripled or even more.* And right now, Scott thinks there are 5 stocks that are better buys.

See The 5 Stocks
*Returns as of April 3 2023

(function() {
function setButtonColorDefaults(param, property, defaultValue) {
if( !param || !param.includes(‘#’)) {
var button = document.getElementsByClassName(“pitch-snippet”)[0].getElementsByClassName(“pitch-button”)[0];[property] = defaultValue;

setButtonColorDefaults(“#43B02A”, ‘background’, ‘#5FA85D’);
setButtonColorDefaults(“#43B02A”, ‘border-color’, ‘#43A24A’);
setButtonColorDefaults(“#fff”, ‘color’, ‘#fff’);

More reading

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben 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 recommended Flight Centre Travel Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

from The Motley Fool Australia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s