Leaving On A Jet Plane, Over The Top, and Shop Till You Drop

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Finally, we close with brief comments on Leaving On A Jet Plane, Over The Top, and Shop Till You Drop.  First, airline travel in the US continues to explode upward.  According to airline data, Americans traveled more in July than in July 2019.  This represents a full recovery for domestic US travel.  And, with international travel starting to reopen, global travel should fully recover over the next year.  Given this, we see Americans once more Leaving On A Jet Plane. Second, a new wave of corporate mergers and acquisitions appears underway.  With the recovery in the economy and corporate profits coupled with large corporations record cash balances, companies have begun to deploy these balances.  However, it appears the prices paid are commensurate with the record cash balances.  Recent announced transactions include several whereby the acquiror paid more than 20x EBITDA and others at more than 10x Revenue.  The long term history of paying such high prices is typically poor returns for the acquiror.  As such, we see corporate acquisitions as Over The Top.  And Third, consumers continue to normalize their lives.  Recent data confirm the switch to in person shopping.  Department store sales exploded over the past six months as vaccinations rolled out.  At the same time, online sellers, such as Amazon, have seen a major slowdown in their revenue growth.  With consumers hankering to get out, we see a return to the 1980s and Shop Till You Drop.

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