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Why Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd tumbled today

Shares of Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT), Australia’s leading travel agent network, hit a patch of turbulence today, falling 3.5%, to $34.31.

Flight Centre has been the focus of much investor scrutiny, having recently lost a 0.3% share of the local leisure market.

Along with a lower Australian dollar (theoretically making overseas holidays more expensive) and the perception of increased competition from discount operators like Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB), or peer-to-peer networks such as Airbnb, Flight Centre shares have fallen 21% over the past three months.

This prompted many analysts to downgrade their target prices on Flight Centre, and today Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) joined in, slapping a $34.92 price target on the stock and downgrading it to ‘underperform’.

Also adding to the selling pressure today was news that Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Andrew Flannery, will step away from his role after seven years. He will become the executive general manager of Flight Centre’s Australian Corporate Travel business.

He will transition into the role during the first half of the current financial year following the appointment of a new CFO.

Flight Centre managing director, Graham Turner, said, “He has played a role in helping to set the corporate business’s strategy and monitoring its performance in recent years in his capacity as a member of our global senior management team or Task Force.” Adding, “We look forward to his contributions in his new role and are excited by the business’s prospects.”

Flight Centre is expected to report its full-year results on August 27 with underlying profit before tax forecast between $355 million and $365 million.

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Motley Fool contributor Owen Raskiewicz has a beneficial interest in Flight Centre Travel Group Limited.

Owen welcomes your feedback on Google+ (see below), LinkedIn or you can follow him on Twitter @ASXinvest.

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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