2 years on, how close is the Flight Centre share price to its pre-COVID levels?

Have Flight Centre shares regained their former altitude?

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Key points

  • Flight Centre was among the hardest hit ASX shares of the pandemic
  • The travel company's shares dived, not helped by a $700 million share dilution
  • But now we are two years out from the pandemic, how is this ASX travel share faring today?

As its name might suggest, the Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) share price was one of the worst-hit ASX 200 shares when the COVID-19 pandemic hit back in 2020.

With the rapid and unexpected shutdown of essentially the entire global travel industry, Flight Centre shares were never going to come out the other side of the pandemic (if we can call it that) unscathed.

But now we are more than halfway through 2022 and more than two years out from the start of the pandemic, how close is the Flight Centre share price to its pre-COVID levels?

Well, let's journey back through the mists of time and take a look.

How is  Flight Cente share price cruising post-COVID?

So, back in February 2020, Flight Centre shares were flying high at around $35.50. But with the onset of the pandemic, investors were swift and brutal. Between 21 February and 19 March, Flight Centre shares fell a crippling 75% or so, bottoming out at just under $9.

The company was forced to suspend its shares from trading at the end of March to shore up capital. In early April, the company announced a massive $700 million capital raising program to keep its doors open. In this it was successful, but it resulted in massive share dilution for investors.

The Flight Centre share count almost doubled as the company raised money at a steep discount to what its shares were worth just a few months earlier.

Today, Flight Centre is going for $17.81 a share at the time of writing. That might be almost 100% up from the lows that the company hit in late March of 2020. but it's still down around 30% from Flight Centre's current 52-week high of $25.28 a share that we saw in October last year.

It's also down an even more painful 50% or so from its pre-COVID levels.

What do the brokers say?

Flight Centre shares might not get anywhere close for a while yet, if ASX broker opinion is to be believed.

As my Fool colleague Tristan covered this week, most ASX brokers currently give Flight Centre shares either a neutral or a sell rating at present.

One broker in UBS is neutral, with a 12-month share price target of $18.65. But Ord Minnet is among the more bearish brokers. It is far less optimistic about the Flight Centre share price with its sell rating and share price target of just $13.18.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen 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 Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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