BEACH Stocks: $332B in Value Washed Away
The market’s latest storm has plunged the global travel industry into uncharted territory.
Since the S&P 500 market high on February 19, 2020, market capitalizations across BEACH industries—booking, entertainment, airlines, cruises, and hotels—have tumbled. The global airline industry alone has seen $157B wiped off valuations across 116 publicly traded airlines.
Investor confidence in cruise lines has also dropped. Between Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, over half of their market value has evaporated—equal to at least $42B in combined market capitalization.
Today’s infographic profiles the steep losses across BEACH companies. It looks at the ripple effects across individual companies and industries from the February 19 peak to date*.
*All numbers as of market close on March 24, 2020
Falling Off A Cliff
As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread to over 100 countries, many governments have implemented sweeping travel restrictions.
The impact across BEACH industries is far-reaching, with some valuations declining to nearly a quarter of their previous total.
|Company||Ticker||Category||Market Cap: 02/19/2020||Market Cap: 03/24/2020||% Change|
|Live Nation||LYV||Entertainment & Live Events||$16.3B||$9.1B||-44%|
|Six Flags||SIX||Entertainment & Live Events||$3.2B||$1.1B||-66%|
|Cedar Fair||FUN||Entertainment & Live Events||$3.1B||$1.3B||-58%|
|The Walt Disney Co||DIS||Entertainment & Live Events||$255.1B||$177B||-31%|
|Penn National Gaming||PENN||Entertainment & Live Events||$4.3B||$1.6B||-63%|
|Delta Air Lines||DAL||Airlines||$37.5B||$17.8B||-52%|
|Alaska Air Group||ALK||Airlines||$8B||$3.7B||-54%|
|Air Canada (in USD)||AC||Airlines||$8.3B||$2.8B||-67%|
|Carnival||CCL||Cruise & Casino||$30.8B||$10B||-67%|
|Royal Caribbean Cruises||RCL||Cruise & Casino||$23.2B||$7.5B||-68%|
|Norwegian Cruise Lines||NCLH||Cruise & Casino||$11.1B||$3.1B||-72%|
|Las Vegas Sands||LVS||Cruise & Casino||$52.8B||$35.1B||-34%|
|MGM Resorts International||MGM||Cruise & Casino||$16.2B||$6.2B||-68%|
|Wynn Resorts||WYNN||Cruise & Casino||$14.6B||$7.2B||-51%|
|Caesars Entertainment||CZR||Cruise & Casino||$10B||$4.2B||-58%|
|Eldorado Resorts||ERI||Cruise & Casino||$5.4B||$1.3B||-76%|
|Marriott International||MAR||Hotels & Resorts||$48.3B||$25.7B||-48%|
|Hilton||HLT||Hotels & Resorts||$31.3B||$19.4B||-38%|
|Hyatt Hotels||H||Hotels & Resorts||$9.1B||$4.9B||-46%|
|Choice Hotels International||CHH||Hotels & Resorts||$6B||$3.2B||-46%|
|Wyndham Hotels & Resorts||WH||Hotels & Resorts||$5.6B||$2.9B||-48%|
|Park Hotels||PK||Hotels & Resorts||$5.5B||$1.9B||-66%|
|Vail Resorts||MTN||Hotels & Resorts||$9.98B||$5.8B||-41%|
|Marriott Vacations Worldwide||VAC||Hotels & Resorts||$5.3B||$2.2B||-59%|
For instance, the consequences on various travel bookings brands have been severe. Booking Holdings, the parent company to Booking.com, Priceline, Kayak and OpenTable, witnessed share price declines of over 35% since the peak.
Across the entertainment industry, ticket sales for concerts, movies, and other events are falling precipitously due to cancellations or postponements.
Upwards of $5B in global film industry losses could result from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chilling footage of the Las Vegas strip, as well as other tourist epicenters around the world, shows deserted streets as visitors opt to stay home instead.Bracing For Impact
Meanwhile, worldwide airline revenue is estimated to fall by as much as $113B in 2020.
In under two months, the share price of Delta Airlines has fallen over 50% as the company anticipates a capacity reduction of 40%, the largest in its history.
|Company||Ticker||Feb 19 2020 Share Price||Mar 24 2020 Share Price|
|Delta Air Lines||NYSE:DAL||$58.5||$26.9|
|Alaska Air Group||NYSE:ALK||$65.2||$28.9|
|Air Canada (in CAD)||TSX:AC||$45.3||$15.1|
The global airline industry—which employs over 10M people—supports $2.7T in global economic activity across an average of 12M passengers per day.
Aruba, Jamaica No More
As for the cruise line industry, global operations came to a 30-day standstill in mid-March. Over 800 COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths across three cruise ships have been discovered.
“COVID-19 on cruise ships poses a risk for rapid spread of disease, causing outbreaks in a vulnerable population, and aggressive efforts are required to contain spread.”
Carnival, a Miami-based company, has witnessed its share price fall to around one third of its February 19 value. Similarly, Royal Caribbean Cruises, which has seen its market cap plummet almost 70%, announced that it will suspend trips until mid-May.
As the hotel industry is impacted by the global outbreak, share prices have also realized a significant slump. In the U.S., an estimated $1.4B in revenue is vanishing each week. If occupancy levels fall by just 30% this year, the U.S. hotel industry could see approximately 4 million jobs wiped out.
The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index, which serves as a benchmark for the sector’s overall health, has declined over 47% year-to-date.
Global Stimulus Response
A number of travel industries around the world are calling for stimulus packages.
On March 25, the U.S. Congress finalized a historic $2T deal, which includes $25B in grants for the airline industry. In the UK, officials are providing small businesses in hospitality and leisure grants that are worth up to $30,000 as part of its $400B bailout plan.
China, Germany, Italy, and Spain have outlined multibillion dollar proposals in response to COVID-19. Overall, at least eleven countries have announced stimulus plans along with the European Commission and the IMF.
When Will the Travel Wave Hit Again?
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic one thing is clear: the impact on the travel industry will have a marked effect on the broader economy.
Travel is closely linked with oil, as transportation accounts for over 60% of global demand. In Q2 2020, global oil consumption is projected to fall by 25M barrels per day.
Along with this, discretionary consumer spending makes up over one third of America’s GDP. The impact of the pandemic across this sector is expected to contribute to a 10% decline or more in U.S. GDP for the second quarter.
As conditions materially improve around the world—with China beginning to open up flights—positive signs are emerging from under the surface. Will BEACH industries quickly bounce back as infection rates drop, or will a slow and painful recovery unfold in the months ahead?
Visualizing the Recent Explosion in Lumber Prices
Lumber prices in the U.S. continue to break records as pressure from both the supply and demand sides of the market collide.
Visualizing the Recent Explosion in Lumber Prices
Lumber is an important commodity used in construction, and refers to wood that has been processed into beams or planks.
Fluctuations in its price, which is typically quoted in USD/1,000 board feet (bd ft), can significantly affect the housing industry and in turn, influence the broader U.S. economy.
To understand the impact that lumber prices can have, we’ve visualized the number of homes that can be built with $50,000 worth of lumber, one year apart.
A Story of Supply and Demand
Before discussing the infographic above, it’s important to understand the market’s current environment.
In just one year, the price of lumber has increased 377%—reaching a record high of $1,635 per 1,000 bd ft. For context, lumber has historically fluctuated between $200 to $400.
To understand what’s driving lumber prices to new heights, let’s look at two economic elements: supply and demand.
U.S. lumber supplies came under pressure in April 2017, when the Trump administration raised tariffs on Canadian lumber. Since then, lumber imports have fallen and prices have experienced significant volatility.
After a brief stint above $600 in April 2018, lumber quickly tumbled down to sub $250 levels, causing a number of sawmills to shut down. The resulting decreases in production capacity (supply) were estimated to be around 3 billion board feet.
Once COVID-19 emerged, labor shortages cut production even further, making the lumber market incredibly sensitive to demand shocks. The U.S. government has since reduced its tariffs on Canadian lumber, but these measures appear to be an example of too little, too late.
Against expectations, COVID-19 has led to a significant boom in housing markets, greatly increasing the need for lumber.
Lockdowns in early 2020 delayed many home purchases until later in the year, while increased savings rates during the pandemic meant Americans had more cash on hand. The demand for homes was further amplified by record-low mortgage rates across the country.
Existing homeowners needed lumber too, as many Americans suddenly found themselves requiring upgrades and renovations to accommodate their new stay-at-home lifestyles.
How Many Homes Can You Build With $50K of Lumber?
To see how burgeoning lumber prices are impacting the U.S. housing market, we’ve calculated the number of single family homes that could be built with $50,000 worth of lumber. First, we established the following parameters:
- Lumber requirements: 6.3 board feet (bd ft) per square foot (sq ft)
- Median single family house size: 2,301 sq ft
- Total lumber required per single family house: 14,496 bd ft
Based on these parameters, here’s how many single family homes can be built with $50,000 worth of lumber:
|Date*||Lumber Price||Total Lumber Purchased||Total Homes Built|
|2021-05-05||$1,635 per 1,000 bd ft||30,581 bd ft||2.11|
|2020-05-04||$343 per 1,000 bd ft||145,773 bd ft||10.05|
|2015-05-01||$234 per 1,000 bd ft||213,675 bd ft||14.74|
|2010-05-01||$270 per 1,000 bd ft||185,185 bd ft||12.77|
*Exact matching dates were not available for past years.
As lumber prices continue to set record highs, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has reported that the cost to build a single family home has increased by $36,000. Most of this cost can be passed down to the consumer, but extremely tight supplies mean homebuilders are unable to start more projects.
The Clock is Ticking
Despite their best efforts to increase output, it’s likely that sawmills across the U.S. will continue playing catch-up in 2021.
“There was a great fear among sawmills to prepare for a downturn. When home buying surged, they could not open up capacity quickly enough.”
– Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors
Analysts are now warning that lumber prices could reach a flashpoint, where affordability becomes so limited that demand suddenly falls off. This has led the NAHB to ask the Biden administration for a temporary pause on Canadian lumber tariffs, which currently sit at 9%.
U.S. tariffs on Canadian lumber were first introduced in 1982, and represent one of the longest lasting trade wars between the two nations. The U.S. is currently appealing a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that states its 2017 tariff hike was a breach of global trading rules.
Mapped: The State of Small Business Recovery in America
Compared to January 2020, 34% of small businesses are currently closed. This map looks at the small business recovery rate in 50 metro areas.
Mapped: The State of Small Business Recovery in America
In the business news cycle, headlines are often dominated by large corporations, macroeconomic news, or government action.
While mom and pop might not always be in focus, collectively small businesses are a powerful and influential piece of the economy. In fact, 99.9% of all businesses in the U.S. qualify as small businesses, collectively employing almost half (47.3%) of the nation’s private workforce.
Unfortunately, they’ve also been one of the hardest-hit sectors of the economy amid the pandemic. From the CARES Act to the new budget proposal, billions of dollars have been allocated towards helping small businesses to get back on their feet.
Small Business Recovery in 50 Metro Areas
During the pandemic, many small businesses have either swiftly pivoted to survive, or struggled to stay afloat. This map pulls data from Opportunity Insights to examine the small business recovery rate in 50 metro areas across America.
So, has the situation improved since the last time we examined this data? The short answer is no—on a national scale, 34% of small businesses are closed compared to January 2020.
San Francisco is one of the most affected metro areas, with a 48% closure rate of small businesses. New York City has spiralled the most since the end of September 2020.
|U.S. Metro Area||% Change in # of|
Small Businesses Open
(As of Sep 25, 2020)
|% Change in # of|
Small Businesses Open
(As of Apr 23, 2021)
|7-month change (p.p.)|
|New York City||-21%||-42%||-21|
|Salt Lake City||-18%||-23%||-5|
Data as of Apr 23, 2021 and indexed to Jan 4-31, 2020.
On the flip side, Honolulu has seen the most improvement. As travel and tourism numbers into Hawaii have steadily risen up with lifted nationwide restrictions, there has been a 16 p.p. increase in open businesses compared to September 2020.
Road to a K-Shaped Recovery
As of April 25, 2021, nearly 42% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. However, even with this rapid vaccine rollout, various segments of the economy aren’t recovering at the same pace.
Take for instance the stark difference between professional services and the leisure and hospitality sector. Though small business revenues in both segments have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels, the latter has much more catching up to do:
This uneven phenomena is known as a K-shaped recovery, where some industries see more improvement compared to others that stagnate in the aftermath of a recession.
The Entrepreneurial Spirit Endures
Despite these continued hardships, it appears that many Americans have not been deterred from starting their own businesses.
Many small businesses require an Employer Identification Number (EIN) which makes EIN applications a good proxy for business formation activity. Despite an initial dip in the early months of the pandemic, there has been a dramatic spike in EIN business applications.
Even in the face of a global pandemic, the perseverance of such metrics prove that the innovative American spirit is unwavering, and spells better days to come for small business recovery.
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