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Bear of the Day: Sabre Corp. (SABR)

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Based in Texas, Sabre Corporation (SABR - Free Report) provides software and technology solutions that powers the global travel industry. The company connects leading travel suppliers, including tour operators, airlines, rail carriers, car rental brands, hotels, and cruise lines, with travel buyers in a comprehensive marketplace.

Why SABR’s Q1 Earnings Disappointed

Shares of Sabre plunged as much as 13% the day of its Q1 earnings release after the results fell well short of expectations.

Revenue fell by half to $327 million, significantly below the Street estimate of $410.6 million and last year’s figure of $659 million. Management attributed the sales decline to reductions in global air, hotel, and other travel bookings because of the pandemic.

This impacted the company’s bottom line, resulting in a net loss of $266 million, or $0.84 per share.

Operating loss was $203 million, versus operating loss of $151 million in the first quarter of 2020.

Free cash flow was ($204 million) compared to free cash flow generation of $12 million in the first quarter of 2020.

However, the bookings environment did improve 15% versus Q1 2019, and Sabre saw the strongest rebound in North American air bookings and global hotel bookings.

Bottom Line

SABR is now a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

Three analysts have cut their full year earnings outlook over the past 60 days, but Sabre’s bottom line is expected to grow roughly 40% year-over-year. However, the consensus estimate has fallen $0.38 to a loss per share of $1.91 for fiscal 2021. Next year’s earnings consensus has significantly dropped as well, and Wall Street now expects a loss per share of $0.21.

Shares have been volatile so far in 2021. Year-to-date, SABR is down 6% compared to the Nasdaq and S&P 500’s gain of 10.8% and 15.1%, respectively.

Because of ongoing global uncertainty about the pandemic, Sabre did not issue any guidance.

However, the company’s management team is optimistic about the short- and long-term future. President and CEO Sean Menke believes Sabre has “a healthy sales pipeline and the ability to capture new opportunities.” He also thinks that “as the travel environment improves…Sabre is well positioned.”

Until then, potential investors may want to wait on the sidelines until the outlook improves.

Those who are interested in adding an internet-software stock to their portfolio could consider Veeva Systems Inc. (VEEV - Free Report) . VEEV is a #1 (Strong Buy) on the Zacks Rank, and 10 analysts have raised their earnings outlook for the current fiscal year, with bottom line growth of 19%.

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