2 top fund managers have been selling Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd shares

Credit: Jaan

What: Over the past month the share price of global travel agency Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) has slumped around 14%.

The declines over the past month take the total one-year share price fall to nearly 26%.

In contrast, the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has actually gained 2.5% in the past month and has fallen just 7% in the past year.

Interestingly, two highly regarded fund managers have been selling down their holdings in Flight Centre recently.

Who: In late April, Airlie Funds Management ceased to be a substantial holder. Airlie is led by John Sevior who was previously the star stock picker at Perpetual Limited (ASX: PPT).

Then, just this week, award winning Bennelong Funds Management also ceased to be a substantial holder.

Why: While we don’t know for sure why Airlie and Bennelong decided to reduce their respective positions in Flight Centre, it’s possible they have become less positive on the outlook for the travel group.

According to data provided by Reuters, consensus expectations for both sales and earnings have declined over the past month.

Perhaps there is concern amongst these fund managers that the group could have entered a period of softness.

Value emerging: While it can be best to sit on the sidelines and take a wait-and-see approach if you suspect growth rates and expectations are weakening, sometimes value is just too hard to ignore.

Based on the latest consensus earnings estimate for financial year 2017 of 286 cents per share, the stock is currently trading on a price-to-earnings ratio of just 12 times which arguably looks appealing for a company of this calibre.

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Motley Fool contributor Tim McArthur owns shares in Perpetual Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. 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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