Flight Centre stocks more than doubled since the start of the pandemic

Melbourne, Australia: April 12, 2018: Street view of a Flight Centre shop window. Flight Centre is Australia’s largest travel agency selling international flights, holidays and tours. A man walks past.

It looked like a pretty big risk to buy any travel shares at the start of the pandemic, but those who stuck with their trusty brand have seen it pay off, provided that brand was Flight Centre.

Stock with the travel retailer has shone in the long game as its stock price has risen from its pandemic low of $8.92 to approximately $19 today. Simply Wall St reported this figure well surpasses the market return of 37 per cent (not including dividends).

This figure is also a significant jump from the beginning of the year, where the stock price sat at $14.39.

Despite the strong start to the year, Flight Centre remains the most shorted stock of 2023 (click on the link if you’re unsure of shorting, or check out the movie The Big Short – the Travel Weekly staff like it). 12 per cent of Flight Centre stock is currently in a short position.

As the pandemic ravaged the travel industry harder than any other, Flight Centre did what most companies did at that time. It scrapped its dividend, closed stores, laid off staff and underwent capital and debt-raising activities.

Flight Centre reported a $849m statutory loss for the 2020 financial year, but only a $20m statutory loss for the first half of the 2023 financial year.

It announced the acquisition of luxury travel business Scott Dunn for $211m in January.

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