The Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) share price was on form last week and soared 12% higher over the five days…
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The Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price was a strong performer last week and soared notably higher.
Over the five days, the airline operator’s shares ascended by 12% to end the week at $5.11.
This was the highest level the Qantas share price has traded at since March.
Why did the Qantas share price soar last week?
Qantas and a number of other travel shares were in demand with investors last week after biotech giant Pfizer released an update on its COVID-19 vaccine trial.
While it is still early days, its trial results appear to demonstrate the initial evidence of its vaccine’s ability to prevent COVID-19 infections.
According to the update, the vaccine candidate was found to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 in participants with no evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection.
This was better than experts, and even Pfizer, were expecting and has sparked hopes that global travel markets could rebound much quicker than forecast.
This would be great news for Qantas, which has experienced a sharp reduction in demand for flights during the pandemic.
For example, at its recent annual general meeting, CEO Alan Joyce revealed that Group Domestic capacity was below 30% of pre-COVID levels in late October. This compares to its forecast of operating at about 60% of pre-COVID levels by now.
In light of this, despite its rampant cost cutting, this delay resulted in a $100 million negative impact on its earnings for the first quarter of FY 2021. A similar impact is expected in the second quarter as well.
As a result, the sooner a vaccine is available and travel markets return to normal, the sooner Qantas will be profitable again.
Is the Qantas share price in the buy zone?
One broker that still sees a little bit of upside for the Qantas share price is UBS. It recently put a buy rating and $5.25 price target on the company’s shares.
Though, there’s every chance the broker will reassess this price target in the coming weeks as more is known about the Pfizer vaccine. So, stay tuned for that.
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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.