The sell-off in Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN) stock is overdone, at least according to one Wall Street pro. An analyst at Credit Suisse started coverage of the stock by listing it as his top recommendation in its niche, with shares expected to rise by as much as 40% in the next year, up to $235.
In his bullish note, analyst Benjamin Chaiken listed a few factors that have had investors edging back into the stock following its COVID-19-related plunge. Vail Resorts was heavily impacted by travel restrictions and had to call an early end to its 2020 ski season. Management said that weakness would continue at least into early fiscal 2021. Chaiken thinks Vail's industry leadership position, strong management team, and popular season pass program are some of the assets that will help the business bounce back quickly once the COVID-19 threat fades.
The business does enjoy all of these competitive advantages, and they were all at work in management's updated season pass offering that in late April made major improvements to the program aimed at soothing skiers' concerns about resort closures in the upcoming season. That offering, which covers an industry-leading network of mountains, should keep Vail outperforming smaller peers.
However, the stock's movement over the short term will be driven by unpredictable events, especially around economic growth in places like the U.S., Canada, and Australia. That's why investors buying the stock today shouldn't bank on a sustained rally, at least until more clarity emerges in the global leisure and travel industries.