Webjet is undervalued: Morningstar
Morningstar believes travel will be back in 2024.
Mentioned: Webjet Ltd (WEB)
Brian Han: Webjet is probably best known for operating the online travel agency site called Webjet.com.au, which people use to book airline tickets and accommodation. But what most people don't realize is that Webjet also operates this business called WebBeds. And I'd be very careful about saying that word quickly, but WebBeds is actually a global hotel inventory distribution platform that connects hotels on the one hand and travel agents on the other.
And pre-pandemic this business actually generated 60% of Webjet, the group's whole profit earnings. And we think as we come out of the pandemic, that will continue to be the case. Now, Webjet also operates a little website called GoSee, which basically allows consumers to hire cars and caravans. But that's actually a very small part of the group.
So, we initiated on Webjet, the group, last week simply because we feel that despite all the uncertainties about the pandemic and economy, we think this is the opportune time to start looking at the travel and leisure sector ahead of the eventual recovery to pre-pandemic levels of travel activities and volume.
In general, we feel that travel activities will return to pre-pandemic levels sometime in 2024. Now, the recovery trajectory from here until then, we don't think it's going to be a straight-line smooth trajectory. But we do feel that the pent-up demand is there and that it is all dependent on how international borders open up in different countries, because certainly, the demand is there, and the appetite is there. So, it's all a matter of how these borders open up and how the airline capacities start ramping up in response to all these border control openings and also consumer demand. So, that's the first thing.
The second thing is, now, we are going to have continuing near-term uncertainties, whether it's economic fears or whether it's because we're going to have new waves of COVID infections. So, the most important thing is, in the travel and leisure sector when you're investing, you want to be sure that these companies have the balance sheet and the liquidity to ride through any of these near-term uncertainties so that they can benefit from that long-term recovery. And certainly, all the companies under our travel and leisure coverage, we think, they do have the liquidity and the balance sheet to weather through the near-term uncertainties.