The recent news that multiple coronavirus vaccine candidates are proving to be both effective and safe has investors looking at some of the year’s worst-hit industries for “bounce-back” opportunities on a recovery. Yet it will still be many months before vaccines are available in large enough quantities for the world to truly start the recovery.
In the video below from the Oct. 29 edition of “The Wrap” on Motley Fool Live, host Jason Hall explains what investors must do — and understand — before rushing out to buy beaten-down stocks on their post-pandemic prospects.
Jason Hall: I think you have to be careful to not buy maybe not-great businesses on the idea that that they might have a nice little boost. I think you still have to focus on quality and excellence, and buying the best businesses that you can. I do think that there are some overlooked businesses that are absolutely the top-quality and are really well-positioned to benefit from the idea of those that are still earning, looking for ways to enjoy leisure, but also are set up to benefit whatever normal looks like a year or two, five years down the road.
I want to give you an idea of a company that falls in that bucket for me. That’s Ryman Hospitality Properties (NYSE:RHP). The ticker is RHP. Ryman Hospitality Properties. They make their living doing events, doing big conferences, the Gaylord Hotels, Opryland Hotel. Those are Ryman Properties, Ryman Auditorium. So they have like five of these and they are basically the most valuable event properties outside of Vegas in North America. They’re not really being used, companies aren’t doing conferences. You’re not going to go to a big corporate conference or a big industry conference, but they’ve already started to regenerate some business from people looking to travel for leisure. Their booking rates have gone up, their occupancy rates are starting to creep back up to the point where they are very close to being cash flow positive, and they’ll probably get there relatively soon.
Here is the big thing: They have a strong enough balance sheet that they will be fine for a year if things stay the way they are now. Here’s why I like it, here’s why I think about it. The big picture is whether the future is a lot more people doing remote work or five years from now, things look a lot more like they did last year in terms of most people still going back to their office.
However it looks, the conference industry is going to recover. If there is more remote work, that’s a big boon for the conference industry because you know what’s going to happen? Companies are going to do more conventions, they’re going to do more meetings to get their departments together at the same place in time, to get the entire company together at the same place in time, you’re going to see more industry conventions because of the same reason, people aren’t going to be working in groups and they’re going to be wanting to get together. I think that’s a boon for a company like Ryman that has these great properties that are built for that sort of thing already. That’s how I think about. If you start out with a great business, whatever the tailwinds are going to be, you’re going to work.