Europe’s Hot New Investing Theme: The Staycation
(Bloomberg) -- With the Covid-19 pandemic leading more people to ditch foreign holiday plans and seek closer-to-home options, the best performing stock in Europe’s benchmark stock index this quarter is a Swedish supplier of equipment for recreational vehicles.
Shares of Dometic Group AB -- which provides everything from portable coolboxes to toilets and awnings for RVs -- have jumped 71% since the end of March, topping the Stoxx 600 Index in that period. That represents only a partial recovery from a first quarter when the stock plummeted on concern over the impact of the virus outbreak. Even after their second-quarter gains, the shares remain 20% lower year-to-date.
With Germany aiming to lift a global travel warning from June 15 and France announcing that people can go on summer holiday, optimism has increased that Europeans will take a vacation, even if that means a road trip in their own country. For Dometic, which gets more than than a third of revenue from a division that makes cooling and ventilation products, that’s good news, especially with the weather starting to warm up.
“Consumers are looking for alternative vacations where they can control their own environment and not be exposed to large crowds,” Pareto Securities analyst Fredrik Moregard said in an email. “Dometic is an important sub-supplier to the RV industry and should benefit as OEMs increase production to meet retail demand.”
According to Dometic President and Chief Executive Officer Juan Vargues, demand is so high that it can be difficult to find a vehicle. “When you’re asking people what they are going to do for holidays, nobody is telling you that they are going to fly to Thailand,” Vargues said on a call with analysts last month.
Dometic isn’t the only stock benefiting from the possibility of Europeans holidaying near to home. Sweden’s Thule Group AB, a maker of roof and bike racks that serves 140 markets, is up 15% in the second quarter to date. U.K. retailer Halfords Group Plc, which sells bicycles and camping equipment in addition to car accessories, has more than doubled. And recreational vehicle maker Trigano SA has climbed 57% since touching a 2020 low in March, outpacing France’s CAC Mid 60 Index.
It’s not all smooth sailing. Despite rallying of late, all the stocks remain down on the year, and Trigano has said it expects to be hurt by the pandemic in the second half. Yet that hasn’t dented growing levels of optimism among analysts.
“Over the medium-term, any consumer desire to avoid public transport to facilitate holidays should benefit Trigano,” Berenberg analyst Trion Reid wrote in a May 11 note. “Its motorhomes provide accommodation and catering equipment that allow travelers to maintain social distancing.”
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