Hospitality Stockwatch – March 2023

Arun Upneja, Ph.D. MBA, Dean, Boston University – School of Hospitality Administration
Steve Kent, Ph.D., CFA, Assistant Professor, Molloy University-School of Business

Thanks for your sage advice, input, and positive commentary.

We launched the Hospitality Stockwatch just last month (February 2023), and already we have received great insights from our readers. We welcome more. A few of you wanted to add more valuation data, return measures, risk metrics, and technical analysis.

Over the next several months we will add some of these factors. We are trying to balance what is the most helpful to our students and industry colleagues with what finance professionals and academics look for. Our goal is to make investing and analysis accessible without being overwhelming. In fact, the section below on the mosaic market theory suggests that all of us can be thoughtful investors by pulling together multiple pieces of insights.

We also ask our readers to please tell us if we are missing any sectors or individual stocks that are important to hospitality and tourism. For example, should we add a new section for travel distribution companies (Bookings, Airbinb, Sabre, etc.)? If you think that would be helpful please email us at with comments.

Click here to download Hospitality Stockwatch – current as of Wednesday, March 1 2023

February 2023 Performance: Winners and Losers

This month we are starting a new section — Winners and Losers-a list of which stocks went up the most over the past few weeks versus which went down the most.  We will also try to explain what factors caused these movements.

While the cross currents of inflation, recession, higher interest rates, and weak performance in some of the biggest tech stocks have received quite a bit of focus, the market remains in positive territory for 2023.  

Notably, the Russell 3000, which is one of the broadest measures of overall equity performance, is up 4.6% year to date. Even though it has given up a bit over the past month, trading down 2.5% — possibly in reaction to talk of higher and longer-lasting interest rates — we are off to a satisfactory start.

Of the 17 sub-sectors, we look at most closely, two have shown significant relative and absolute weakness: Ski Resorts and Recent Travel SPACs. Vail Resorts reported December quarter results and investors seem to fear the impact of an economic slowdown on season pass sales. 

On a more positive front we saw some early 2023 winners including Sports Betting seems to have benefitted from beating quarter estimates along with continued momentum in sports betting as more states roll it out. Car Rental stocks have also rallied as travel appears solid and used car prices have reversed the downward trend. 

We would like to point out that we are not completely done with end-of-the-year quarterly earnings.  For the most part, management teams have been constructive in travel and leisure, but there’s still a way to go,  and sometimes the laggards reporting are also operating laggards.

Mosaic Market Theory

Our students learn several important financial concepts, including the mosaic and efficient market theories. In this edition of Boston Hospitality Review, we delve into the mosaic market theory, also known as the scuttlebutt theory (Fisher, 1958). This theory proposes that gathering diverse pieces of information can create an accurate picture of a company or stock’s true value. By combining these bits of data from multiple sources, investors acquire valuable insights to maximize their investments.

Building an understanding of a company’s stock fundamentals and outlook is akin to creating a mosaic. Despite individual pieces seeming insignificant and meaningless on their own, when placed together correctly, they can reveal the bigger picture, providing perspective into where investments should be made or avoided. By analyzing publicly available data, commentary, financials, and observations, investors can gain valuable information that helps them make informed decisions with optimal results in mind.

To illustrate the mosiac market theory, looking at the “numbers” or results for Hilton’s recent quarter for Hilton will give one level of insight on the direction of operating numbers but there is even more available.  Investors can listen or read a transcript of the earnings call following the release. These comments, directly from the CEO of Hilton can be compared to what other CEO’s said during their earnings. 

You could also go to franchisee conferences, examine the pipeline of new hotels, talk to convention/conference planners and examine other sources of information. Paying attention to economic statistics may also be critical for an industry like lodging which is broadly impacted by these trends.  By pulling together tidbits of information we may get a more comprehensive mosaic of expectation for the industry. Once an investor has a sense for a sector or a specific company you may then want to examine the stock performance to see if it reflects these fundamentals.

Our students gain invaluable insight by applying the mosaic theory to their stock, company, and industry evaluations. This in-depth knowledge not only helps them make educated buy-or-sell decisions; it also prepares them for potential career opportunities with these organizations. It shows they have the ability to look deeper into a company beyond a headline and synthesize multiple sources of information into a narrative.  These same skills are critical not just for stock picking but also for successful careers.  

Fisher. (1958). Common stocks and uncommon profits. Harper.

View Hospitality Stockwatch – February 2023 Edition