How bad was September for the Qantas share price?

Last month was one to forget for shareholders of Australia's flag carrier airline.

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The Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price is ascending on Thursday.

In morning trade, the airline operator's shares are up 2.5% to $5.05.

This will be a welcome to relief to shareholders who endured a shocking month in September.

During the period, the Qantas share price lost over 12% of its value.

What happened last month?

Investors were hitting the sell button in a panic in September after a flurry of negative media coverage and a jump in short selling weighed heavily on its shares.

The media coverage was so bad the company's CEO Alan Joyce decided to jump ship earlier than planned.

Joyce was planning to leave after Qantas' annual general meeting in November but stepped down on 5 September "to help the company accelerate its renewal." As per its succession plan, Qantas' leader for the last 15 years was replaced with its CFO Vanessa Hudson.

Commenting on his departure, Joyce said:

In the last few weeks, the focus on Qantas and events of the past make it clear to me that the company needs to move ahead with its renewal as a priority. The best thing I can do under these circumstances is to bring forward my retirement and hand over to Vanessa and the new management team now, knowing they will do an excellent job.

What else happened?

Also weighing on the Qantas share price in September was the release of a market update.

Qantas warned of a material increase in investment in customer improvements and the impact of elevated fuel prices.

The former will see a total of $230 million invested in addressing a number of customer pain points. Whereas the latter is expected to lead to an additional $200 million in fuel costs during the first half.

Is the Qantas share price good value?

As I covered here earlier today, the team at Morgans has just named Qantas on its best ideas list for October.

The broker currently has an add rating and $8.60 price target on its shares. This implies a potential upside of approximately 70% from current levels. The broker commented:

QAN is trading at a material discount compared to pre-COVID multiples, despite having structurally higher earnings, a much stronger balance sheet, a better domestic market position, a higher returning International business and more diversification (stronger Loyalty/Freight earnings).

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro 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 no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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