AAA, North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, recently released a report saying that about 50.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during Thanksgiving this year. This represents a 3.3% increase over 2016 with the weekend expected to witness the highest Thanksgiving travel volume over the last 12 years.

A Closer Look at the Numbers

The travel and leisure industry is set to benefit thanks to several factors like a strong economy, higher incomes, higher consumer confidence and a strong labor market. According to the numbers provided by AAA, 89.3% of all travelers or 45.5 million people are planning road trips even though Thanksgiving gas prices are expected to be the highest since 2014. Meanwhile, 3.95 million travelers will take to the skies with the average airfare being the cheapest since 2013. Daily car rental rates are slated to hit a five-year holiday high driven by higher demand and cost of newer vehicles. Hotels will also benefit from increased bookings.

Stocks in Focus

Given this backdrop, here is a look at five travel and leisure stocks that look well-positioned to benefit during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period starting November 22 and ending on November 26.

SkyWest, Inc. (SKYW – Free Report) : SkyWest, the holding company for two scheduled passenger airline operations and an aircraft leasing company, provides commercial air service through more than 2,500 daily flights carrying more than 50 million passengers annually to destinations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. While SkyWest Airlines has partnerships with large network carriers like United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines, ExpressJet Airlines has partnerships with United, Delta and American.

SkyWest, a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock, has a pretty good earnings track record with the company surpassing expectations in each of the last four quarters with an average surprise of 10.8%. Estimated earnings growth for the current year is 21.7%. The stock has seen the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 1.5% upward over the last 30 days.

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