Travel and tourism stocks are gaining momentum as the coronavirus pandemic fades away in the U.S. While the virus is resurging in some parts of Europe, the global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines could help accelerate a return to normality.
Let's explore how these stocks could potentially double your money.
1. Walt Disney
With a forward price-to-earnings (P/E) multiple of 159, Disney stock is expensive compared to the market average of 40. But the entertainment giant offers an unbeatable growth opportunity as its amusement park business recovers and its streaming platform drives long-term expansion.
Disney's parks, experiences, and products segment was a cash cow before the pandemic. The businesses generated revenue of $26.2 billion and operating income of $6.8 billion in 2019. But it was hit hard by the crisis, with segment revenue falling 53% to $3.6 billion in the fiscal first quarter. It is unclear when Disney's tourism business will return to prior levels. But the rollout of coronavirus vaccines will help accelerate the recovery.
The company's flagship Disneyland park in California will reopen with limited capacity on April 30. And CEO Bob Chapek expects the cruise lines to resume operations by the fall.
But unlike rivals Six Flags or Cedar Fair, Disney doesn't rely exclusively on its amusement parks to generate growth. The company's streaming business could also soon create massive value for investors. The platform reported over 100 million subscribers as of March to its various streaming services. And it could boast up to 260 million globally by 2024, according to company guidance. To put that projection into perspective, Netflix reported roughly 204 million subscribers by the end of 2020 and generated a net income of $2.8 billion in the period.
2. Lindblad Expeditions
Lindblad is a travel company that focuses on expeditions to exotic locations around the world. Management suspended operations for much of 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But the cruise line looks poised to bounce back better than ever because of its differentiated business model and focus on wealthier clients.
Unlike traditional cruise companies such as Carnival Cruise Lines or Royal Caribbean, which target the mass market, Lindblad focuses on affluent consumers who are willing to pay more for a premium experience. Destinations include Antarctica and the Galapagos Islands via a fleet of expedition ships, riverboats, and sailing vessels.
Lindblad's strategy allows it to earn an industry-leading net yield (revenue minus operating expenses divided by available cruise days) of $1,130 compared to $160 and $196 at Carnival and Royal Caribbean, respectively.
Management has canceled all voyages through the end of May 2021, but CEO Sven Lindblad hopes to resume operations in June focusing on Alaska, Galapagos, and Iceland. Lindblad sees strong "pent-up demand" for expedition travel and expects bookings to accelerate as vaccines become more available. At $18.45 per share, the stock trades at 66 times its 2019 EPS of 0.28, suggesting the market expects a strong recovery.
Poised to bounce back
The recovery in Walt Disney and Lindblad Expeditions depends on the successful rollout of coronavirus vaccines and the end of the pandemic. While the future is never certain, both companies have advantages that could help them bounce back faster than their rivals. Disney boasts a fast-growing streaming business, while Lindblad's high-end business model sets it apart from mass-market competitors.