Ever since positive COVID-19 vaccine news started to come out, so-called "reopening" stocks have soared. Hotels, airlines, cruise lines, mall operators, and other companies that would benefit from a vaccine have been some of the market's best performers.
However, there could still be a ton of upside potential in the reopening stocks. In this Nov. 17 Fool Live video, two experts from The Motley Fool's real estate brand -- Millionacres real estate analyst Matt Frankel, CFP, and Millionacres editor Deedre Woollard -- discuss why the "reopening rally" might be just getting started.
Deidre Woollard: We have a question on that given the good news and that the way these REITs have reacted, are there other REITs to consider for more likely upside or do you think that some of these REITs will have a lot longer to go? Something like an EPR (NYSE:EPR), for example, there could be another uptick, again, once there's more positive news, right?
Matt Frankel: I think of this in the three stages. One, we wanted to see that there was going to be an effective vaccine that didn't have a ton of side effects and a lot of people were going to get. We just saw that.
Deidre Woollard: Right. Yes.
Matt Frankel: Number 2, you're going to wait. These vaccines haven't been approved. No one's getting these vaccines yet. So that stage 2, is once these vaccines actually get authorization and are actually being rolled out a somewhat efficient manner, because that's easier said than done when you're trying to vaccinate a population of hundreds of millions of people. So that's number 2. Number 3 is when these REITs actually see their business start to return to normal. Do I think that Empire State's (NYSE:ESRT) observatory potential is being priced in yet? No. It's priced in like it's going to get there. Once you actually see, say, observatory business recover to half of 2019 levels, it's currently at six percent by the way. Once you see it rebound to say 50 percent, that'll give investors another reason to cheer. Yes, and I think even in three stages when we see vaccines coming, when a vaccine actually gets here and when the business itself actually rebounds. The first part is definitely fully priced in. We know a vaccine's coming at this point that's priced in. The authorization and the roll out of the vaccine is a lot of uncertainty, and like I said, markets hate uncertainty. Once you see that uncertainty lifted, you'll see another little uptake. It's also worth pumping the brakes and mentioning that that can go the other way too. If there are delays or anything like that then you could see that adversely affected at these stock prices. We're priced in for a good chance that a vaccine is going to be rolled out. There's still a lot that needs to happen. I do think there is a lot of upside from here on. I'm not selling any of my reopening REITs just yet.
Deidre Woollard: Well, that is a good cautionary note because we are seeing, reclosures and some changes, certainly that's been happening in Europe and it's starting to happen in some states here. So that is something that may impact these docs and make them go down temporarily. Does that create another window of opportunity potentially?
Matt Frankel: Yeah. There's definitely going to be another opportunity. A lot of what you're saying and Jason Hall and I are going to talk about this in the next segment. But a lot of this is short covering that you're seeing right now. We're going to talk about how that works. But I remember seeing that over half of Tanger's (NYSE:SKT) outstanding shares were sold short at one point last month. You're seeing when the vaccine that it comes out, people who have short positions on these are hitting the cover button really quickly and trying to prevent further losses. A lot of that is what you are seeing here. Point being, you might get a pullback and some of these wouldn't be surprising. You saw that after the initial reaction to Pfizer's vaccine. You saw that a lot of these initially pop up and then retreat a little bit. You're going to see some volatility in the near-term. If you don't own something like an Empire State or EPR and you believe in the thesis long-term and believe that a vaccine is coming and going to be rolled out efficiently, and believe that their business is going to come out. I don't think you've necessarily missed the boat yet. Would it have been nicer to buy at the bottom of the pandemic? Sure. But I don't think from a long-term investors standpoint, I don't think you've missed the boat by any stretch.