Since the start of the month, the travel agent giant’s shares have risen a sizeable 46%.
This compares to an excellent gain of 10% by the benchmark index.
Why is the Flight Centre share price rocketing higher this month?
The catalyst for the strong Flight Centre share price gain this month has been news of two potentially effective COVID-19 vaccines.
This has sparked hopes that the global travel market could bounce back quicker than expected, which would be great news for Flight Centre. It is currently operating at a loss despite its rampant cost cutting.
What are the vaccines?
The first vaccine is being developed by biotech giant Pfizer and is a mRNA-based vaccine candidate named BNT162b2.
Last week it released the first set of results from a phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine trial.
In the first interim efficacy analysis, the vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants with no evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. This was significantly better than expectations.
Pfizer expects to produce up to 50 million vaccine doses globally in 2020 and then up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.
The second vaccine, mRNA-1273, comes from US biotech Moderna. At the start of this week, it revealed that its Phase 3 study has met the statistical criteria pre-specified in the study protocol for efficacy, with a vaccine efficacy of 94.5%.
Moderna expects to have approximately 20 million doses of mRNA-1273 ready to ship in the U.S. by the end of the year. After which, it remains on track to manufacture 500 million to 1 billion doses globally in 2021.
Both vaccine candidates are using mRNA technology. This is a new approach to vaccines that uses genetic material to provoke an immune response.
What now for Flight Centre share price?
Two brokers that appear to have called time on the Flight Centre share price rally are Macquarie and Citi.
Last week they put neutral ratings and $13.50 and $16.00 price targets, respectively, on its shares. This compares to the current Flight Centre share price of $16.45.