Travel stocks have taken a hit this week as fears over the delta variant grow.
As of Thursday’s close, hotel stocks such as Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott and InterContinental were on track for weekly losses as steep as 4%, far wider than the 1% drop for the S&P 500. Those names were also under pressure after the latest data from travel metrics company STR showed hotel occupancy decline in August after rising in June and July.
One stock could withstand more weakness in travel activity into the fall, though. In an interview with CNBC’s “Trading Nation,” Inside Edge Capital Management founder Todd Gordon said Thursday he likes Vail Resorts going into the rest of the year.
Rather than just being another pure hotel play, he said, this mountain resort company will benefit from the outdoor sports boom.
“I think everyone’s going skiing again this year,” he said. “Skiing [has proven] to be a socially distanced sport.”
Gordon highlighted the company’s strengths from its seasonal pass program and its strong marketing efforts to its healthy portfolio of resorts in the U.S., Canada and Australia.
Digging into the chart, he said the stock has pulled back toward a $260 support level, creating a nice entry point. Vail closed Thursday at $285.
Vail Resorts also recently announced a new CEO — former Chief Marketing Officer Kirsten Lynch takes the helm Nov. 1.
But Danielle Shay, director of options at Simpler Trading, is not as bullish on travel demand heading into the cooler months.
“I have a lot of caution right now in this overall space,” she said during the same interview, highlighting the transports and hotel stocks.
“They’re on the lows,” she said, “sitting there just like Humpty Dumpty ready to fall over the wall. … What I’m looking at right now, though, even though the [Covid death rates] are low, I still think that [Covid] is absolutely going to impact the fall and winter travel season.”
Noting travel requirements from testing to proof of full vaccinations, she expects hotels, airlines, and cruise liners to continue lower, but adds that there could be “pockets of strength” in the sector, such as a seasonal play as Gordon suggested.