7 Travel Stocks Set to Soar as Americans Tap Into Their Hoarded PTO


  • TripAdvisor (TRIP): Backed by a strong greenback, TripAdvisor could see greater interest.
  • Delta Air Lines (DAL): Delta Air Lines’ international flight paths may entice travelers looking to spend.
  • Carnival (CCL): Carnival offers big bang for the buck for budget-minded vacationers.
  • Check out these other travel stocks to buy as consumers prioritize their vacation time.
Travel Stocks to Buy - 7 Travel Stocks Set to Soar as Americans Tap Into Their Hoarded PTO

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Revenge travel or the concept of making up for lost time due to the Covid-19 disruption may have expired. But that doesn’t necessarily spell doom for travel stocks to buy. On the contrary, American consumers still appear eager to use up their accumulated paid time off or PTO. All things considered, it’s a great time to enjoy a vacation.

For one thing, the labor market is relatively robust. Now, I know certain important nuances exist – nuances that eventually may raise economic challenges. For example, the unemployment rate for young people runs alarmingly high compared to the overall worker demographic. Plus, sustained jobless claims don’t exactly help matters involving broader confidence.

Nevertheless, many folks are gainfully employed, allowing them to enjoy their hoarded vacation hours. Plus, the big one for international travelers: the dollar is strong relative to many other international currencies. This dynamic affords American tourists with incredible purchasing power.

All in all, the market for sun in the fun appears robust. With that, below are travel stocks to buy.

TripAdvisor (TRIP)

image of mobile phone screen displaying tripadvisor logo (TRIP)
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Falling under the broader consumer cyclical space, TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP) – as its name suggests – provides travel services. Specifically, it offers travel guidance products, enabling vacationers to make the most out of their accumulated PTO. Fundamentally, with the dollar so strong relative to other currencies, TripAdvisor could see a demand increase. This is an ideal time to experiencing the sights and sounds of foreign nations.

To be fair, analysts are rather pensive on the idea. Presently, they rate shares a consensus hold, albeit with an average price target of $21.82. That implies almost 22% upside potential. Further, the high-side target lands at $30. During the trailing 12 months (TTM), TripAdvisor posted a net income of $24 million or 16 cents earnings per share. Revenue hit $1.81 billion, with the current quarterly sales growth (year-over-year) rate coming in at 6.5%.

For fiscal 2024, analysts see a modest dip in EPS to $1.26. However, revenue could rise to $1.87 billion, which would be up 4.3% against the prior year. Fiscal 2025 could see EPS jump to $1.60 on sales of $2.01 billion. TRIP ranks as one of the contrarian stocks to buy.

Delta Air Lines (DAL)

Delta airlines aircraft interior full of passengers. Why are so many flights overbooked?
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I must admit that I wasn’t feeling too hot about the airliners amid post-pandemic economic concerns. However, Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) in particular has proven me wrong. I must respect the data. Since the beginning of the year, DAL stock gained almost 23% of equity value. On a fundamental note, Delta – being one of the major carriers – should benefit from the relatively strong dollar.

Consumers will be incentivized to visit foreign locations where their dollar goes far. And it would also be a relief to the tourists themselves, who have struggled under domestic inflation. With that, Delta stands in a prime position to benefit. Unsurprisingly given this context, analysts presently peg DAL stock as a unanimous strong buy with a $60.11 average price target.

During the TTM period, the airliner posted net income of $5.01 billion or $7.80 per share. Revenue in the cycle hit $59.04 billion. Looking out to the end of fiscal 2024, EPS may rise about 6.6% to reach $6.66. On the top line, sales may expand by 6.2% to come in at $58.04 billion. Based on the present trend, DAL is one of the travel stocks to buy.

Carnival (CCL)

Carnival (CCL) logo sign in the night at their headquarters in Miami, Florida, USA. Carnival Cruise Line is an international cruise line.
Source: JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock.com

Cruise ship operator Carnival (NYSE:CCL) has long been an ideal choice for vacationers. However, the Covid-19 crisis did a number on the company and the rest of the industry. It became the poster child for what could go wrong with a deadly pandemic. That said, circumstances have started to normalize in the world. In turn, CCL stock appears much more compelling, particularly for speculators.

One of the core fundamental catalysts for Carnival is the value proposition. It’s the reason why consumers have long gravitated toward the cruise ship industry: bang for the buck. That’s going to be even more important for budget-minded travelers and those who have been especially impacted by inflation. Thus, CCL ranks among the top travel stocks to buy.

Analysts rate shares a consensus strong buy with a $22 average price target. In the TTM period, Carnival posted net income of $405 million or 32 cents per share. Revenue reached $22.57 billion. Looking out to fiscal 2024, experts anticipate a big leap in EPS to $1.01. Also, sales may see a 13.8% lift to land at $24.57 billion.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (WH)

A blue sign says Wyndham Hotels & Resorts in front of red and purple flowers
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According to a Hotel Dive article earlier this year, consumers will prioritize experiences over hotel class. If so, this framework should benefit Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (NYSE:WH). Wyndham specializes in a wide variety of lodging brands. I wouldn’t classify them as a discount play in the stereotypical sense. Rather, the company offers what I would term “smart” bargains.

Mainly, the offerings under the corporate umbrella offer decent accommodations for the price. And that may be exactly what post-pandemic consumers are looking for nice but reasonable, allowing maximum dollars to be spent on the all-important experiences. Unsurprisingly, analysts peg WH stock as a unanimous strong buy. Moreover, the average price target stands at $89.67, implying nearly 23% upside potential.

While I wouldn’t classify WH as being traded on a discount financially, it does trade at 4.47X trailing-year sales. At the end of the fourth quarter, this metric was just under 5X.

For fiscal 2024, analysts anticipate roughly 6% growth in EPS to $4.24. Sales may rise 3.7% to reach $1.45 billion. It’s not exciting but it gets the job done. Therefore, it’s one of the travel stocks to buy.

Uber (UBER)

Uber sign on its headquarters building in San Francisco, California, USA - June 6, 2023. Uber Technologies is a transportation conglomerate.
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While not exactly what you would call a pure-play enterprise among travel stocks to buy, Uber (NYSE:UBER) nevertheless represents one of the sector’s most important ideas. As you know, Uber pioneered the sharing economy, particularly the ride-sharing component. It has moved onto other businesses but the ride sharing remains its core money maker.

Unlike its mainline rival, Uber offers a robust portfolio of international coverage. That’s likely going to be significant because as Americans travel abroad due to the stronger dollar, they’re going to require mobility services. Now, the beautiful part about Uber is that you don’t need to know the native language of the country you’re vising. All the procedures are conducted within the underlying app.

I can go on but the basic reality is that this protocol keeps honest people honest. Analysts unsurprisingly rate UBER stock as a consensus strong buy with an $87.86 average price target. In the TTM period, the company posted net income of $1.39 billion or 63 cents per share. Revenue hit $18.8 billion.

For fiscal 2024, experts anticipate a slight dip in EPS to 79 cents. However, sales may rise 15.3% to reach $40.16 billion.

Live Nation Entertainment (LYV)

Live Nation website displayed on smartphone hidden in jeans pocket.
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From the get-go, Live Nation Entertainment (NYSE:LYV) should come with a warning: it’s controversial. It’s also facing legal challenges, with the Department of Justice leveling an antitrust suit against the company. So, why consider LYV one of the travel stocks to buy? Some analysts have voiced their opinions about the matter, essentially viewing the DOJ’s case as weak.

In the limited amount of space here, I don’t have the luxury of explaining the entire story. However, the DOJ has expressed concerns about Live Nation’s alleged anti-competitive business practices. On the other hand, the targeted enterprise claims that if it did have monopoly power, it would overall be much more profitable than it is.

Generally, I agree with the dissenting analysts – there probably needs to be a stronger case forwarded. Legal matters aside, Live Nation offers a powerful ticketing service that should appeal to the experiential component of travel sentiments.

For fiscal 2024, covering experts believe that EPS may rise nearly 9% to hit $1.49. On the top line, sales may reach $24.87 billion. If so, that would imply growth of 9.3%.

Mastercard (MA)

Another enterprise that’s not directly related to travel stocks to buy, Mastercard (NYSE:MA) should nevertheless be on your radar. Now, it’s a tricky argument when you consider the holistic narrative. From an economic perspective, credit card companies present higher risk. Sure, demand for plastic use has been rising, so to speak. But that also means Americans are getting more indebted.

At the same time, under the context of travel stocks to buy, MA makes much more sense. Essentially, the dollar is weak from a domestic perspective. Internationally, it’s strong – very strong in some key foreign markets. Therefore, a clear incentivization exists to spend money. That’s especially the case if policymakers eventually go dovish on the greenback.

Analysts rate Mastercard a consensus strong buy and when I consider the traveling argument, yeah, it’s logical. They’re targeting a price per share of $525.25, implying just over 16% upside potential.

For fiscal 2024, covering experts believe that EPS may rise almost 9% to hit $13.32. On the top line, revenue may expand 3.3% to land at $25.93 billion. Also, fiscal 2025’s sales may see a 12.5% boost to hit $29.17 billion.

On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare. Tweet him at @EnomotoMedia.

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