NYC-based XpresSpa Group (XSPA) operates spa services in airports, catering to jet-setting business travelers as they fly around the U.S. And you might think that this is about the worst business model imaginable to be in, in the middle of a pandemic when folks are avoiding walk-in, hands-on services like spa treatments — and avoiding flying, period.
You might think that… but H.C. Wainwright analyst Scott Buck begs to differ.
The reason Buck thinks differently about XpresSpa, as he explains in a note out Tuesday, is because in the middle of this pandemic, the company is “pivoting” and transforming its spa-centric business into “a more comprehensive travel health and wellness store model which includes medical testing.”
And medical testing in airports is very relevant to our current pandemic.
Buck explains that the company’s new XpresCheck medical testing service, which the company has been rolling out over the last several months, is now up and running at six U.S. airports. It could “potentially” reach as many as 60 — twice as many airports as the company previously maintained spa locations in. As air travel “normalizes over the next six-to-12 months,” predicts Buck, the provision of “medical testing, including for COVID-19” services is likely to transform XpresSpa into “a leading airport focused health and wellness provider.”
COVID-19, observes the analyst in what may be the understatement of the decade, “is likely to permanently change travel habits,” and airports are looking for new ways to ensure travelers are healthy enough to travel, and safeguard national (and international) populations from disease spread. Already, notes Buck, countries like the Netherlands and U.S. states like Hawaii require that any traveler who wishes to deplane at their airports be able to show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure. And the analyst sees this as just the start of a trend that will see more U.S. states, and more international countries, adopt similar requirements.
From six locations today, Buck predicts XpresSpa will grow to service 30 airports by the end of 2022, en route to doubling again, and growing at the rate of three to four new locations per quarter. Moreover, larger airports may be big enough to support more than one location per airport, increasing the company’s growth potential. At the same time, Buck sees the company’s estimated $90 million in cash on hand should lasting long enough to support this expansion for at least the next two years, before it needs to raise more cash, because the company is burning through cash at the rate of only about $7 million to $9 million per quarter.
Profits-wise, Buck admits that XpresSpa is currently unprofitable — and likely to remain so through at least 2021. By 2022, however, Buck sees cash flow turning positive, and “adjusted EBITDA” as well. So while for the time being, Buck can only value the company on its revenues (positing a 3.5x fiscal 2022 revenue valuation), in just a year or two, investors may finally be able to hang a P/E ratio on this one.
To this end, Buck initiated coverage of XpresSpa stock with a Buy rating and a $3.50 per share price target. This target implies ~30% upside from the current share price of $2.70. (To watch Buck’s track record, click here)
Penny stocks tend to fly under the radar, and XSPA is one of those. Buck’s is the only recent analyst review of this company, and it is decidedly positive. (See XSPA stock analysis on TipRanks)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analyst. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.