Why did the Flight Center share price underperform the ASX 200 in July?

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July saw the broader market partially rebound after a rough few months, but one S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was not involved in the upward action. The Flight Center Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) share price traded relatively flat despite the index’s exuberance.

The stock’s weak trade also came despite the company posting exciting news of its full year earnings, set to be released on August 25.

After closing June at $17.36, the Flight Center share price was trading ever so slightly lower at $17.22 come the end of July. That represents a 0.8% fall over the course of last month.

Meanwhile, the ASX 200 surged 5.74% higher to recover most of its June losses.

So, what might have weighed the Flight Center share price down last month? Let’s take a look.

What weighed on the Flight Center share price in July?

The Flight Center share price slipped slightly last month amid plenty of chaos in the travel industry.

Australia dropped COVID-19 vaccine mandates for international arrivals, the July school holidays proved a hugely popular time to travel, and many called for Australia to close its border with Bali in a bid to avoid an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

On top of that, the surging spread of COVID-19 and influenza saw chaos erupt at airports. At one point, Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) canceled or delayed 15% of domestic flights for more than an hour.

But there was some major positive news from Flight Center in July.

The company upgraded its guidance for financial year 2022 by around 12%. It now expects to post an underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) loss of $180 million to $190 million. That would see it breaking even on an EBITDA basis in the second half.

The company’s short position also improved last month. It fell from 16.17% at the end of June to 15.15% on July 29 – the latest data available.

Unfortunately, that still leaves the stock wearing the crown of short sellers’ favorite ASX share.

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