Why the Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) share price reached a new 52-week high today

Flight Centre shares have left the runway in early trade this morning.

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A woman looks up at a plane flying in the sky with arms outstretched as the Flight Centre share price surges

Image source: Getty Images

The Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) share price has stepped into the green from market open today. It now trades at $20.25.

That’s a new 52-week high for the travel agency giant, whose share price was hit by the pandemic, alongside other travel shares.

Not surprising for a company that has a corporate and leisure travel network spanning over 90 countries.

Whilst there’s been no market sensitive information released for the company today, let’s take a look at what’s fuelling this growth in the Flight Centre share price.

What tailwinds are behind the Flight Centre share price?

Flight Centre’s share price has been on the receiving end of a few positive catalysts lately.

The company released its FY21 results last month, where it recognised an improvement in its trading conditions over the last few months.

Vaccination rollouts in the US and abroad are well into the advanced stages, and flights to the US and Europe have been in place for some time now, benefitting the company’s revenue take.

This appears to be a positive for the Flight Centre share price, due to the uptick in demand for the company’s services.

As such, the company is expecting a strong rebound in its overseas travel markets, in particular the UK, the US and Canada.

Adding fuel to the fire here is recent announcements from Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) that it is already selling tickets for flight travel to several destinations from 18 December this year.

In the days following this announcement – in addition to positive vaccine data – the Flight Centre share price jumped over 35% to $18.60.

Investors appear to be bullish on this flavour combination of positive vaccine data and a rebound in travel numbers – both in Australia and abroad – as the economy begins to reopen. Flight Centre sits at the hub of this speculative movement, as a “reopening play”.

As a result, Flight Centr’s shares have since climbed a further 8% to the current trading and jumped a further 1.4% in early trading on Friday.

However, it might not all be as rosy as it seems at face value for Flight Centre. As Aaron Teboneras of The Motley Fool explained, it still needs to “generate about 50% of its pre-COVID total transaction value (TTV)” in its corporate markets, and around “40% of pre-COVID TTV” in its leisure arm.

Flight Centre share price snapshot

It’s been a positive year to date for Flight Centre’s share price, having posted a return of 28% since January 1.

This extends its return over the past 12 months to 49%. Both of these results are well ahead of the S&P/ASX 200 index (ASX: XJO)’s return of around 25% over this last year.

Despite the slight recovery, Flight Centre is well off its previous high of around $39 in January 2020.

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

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The author Zach Bristow has no positions 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 Limited. 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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