IHG Hotels & Resorts ( IHG Quick Quote IHG - Free Report) is looking forward to the recovery in travel in 2021. This Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) is expected to see a triple digit earnings rebound this year. IHG Hotels & Resorts operates 16 hotel brands and one of the world's largest hotel loyalty programs. Headquartered in Great Britain, it has nearly 6,000 hotels in 100 countries including brands such as Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, Kimpton Hotels, Hotel Indigo and Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts. It continues to expand, even during the global pandemic, and looks to open another 1,800 hotels over the next 5 years. Why is it a Strong Sell? If travel is gaining momentum in 2021, and earnings are expected to rebound in both 2021 and 2022, why is IHG a Strong Sell? The pandemic is still hitting the company's business in several markets. The first quarter was led by the Americas and Greater China, but China's RevPAR was down 37.7% compared with 2019. China occupancy was 40% in the quarter, which was below the 57% rate of both Q3 and Q4 of 2020 due to temporary COVID restrictions put on in January and February. By March, occupancy was rebounding and the demand returned towards second half of 2020 levels. The result was that the analysts were a little too optimistic about earnings growth for 2021. Analysts Cut 2021 and 2022 Earnings Estimates 2 estimates were cut for 2021 in the last 2 months, pushing the Zacks Consensus Estimate down to $0.99 from $1.07. That's still earnings growth of 219% as IHG Hotels only made $0.31 last year. Similarly, 2 estimates were also cut for 2022 in the last 2 months as well. That has pushed the Zacks Consensus down to $2.37 from $2.59. That's another 139% earnings growth. Is the Hotel Stock Rally Over? The hotel stocks rallied big off their 2020 lows once the Pfizer vaccine started rolling out. But in 2021, IHG's shares are up just 9% year-to-date. That's under performing the S&P 500, which has gained 11.9% this year. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research
And because earnings are still under their pre-pandemic highs, it's trading with a forward P/E of 72.
Shares are not cheap. If you're interested in the hotel stocks, you might want to wait to get them cheaper and with a better Zacks Rank. No hotel company is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or #2 (Buy) stock. However, some of IHG Hotel's competitors are Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stocks, including Hyatt Hotels H, Hilton Worldwide ( HLT Quick Quote HLT - Free Report) and Marriott International ( MAR Quick Quote MAR - Free Report) . Time to Invest in Legal Marijuana If you’re looking for big gains, there couldn’t be a better time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion back in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could be a still greater bonanza for investors. Even before the latest wave of legalization, Zacks Investment Research has recommended pot stocks that have shot up as high as +285.9% You’re invited to check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential. Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>