Vail Resorts hits Motley Fool’s ‘top buy’ ranking |

Vail Resorts hits Motley Fool’s ‘top buy’ ranking

VAIL — Vail Resorts’ stock found an on-line ally recently: The Motley Fool.

Area resident Bobby Bank subscribes to the website’s investor newsletter. There, Fool co-founder and analyst David Gardner recently put Vail Resorts’ stock on his “Best Buys Now” list, along with Apple, Amazon, Whole Foods and The Container Store Group. Gardner wrote that the company is benefiting from a strengthening national economy and strong pass sales, among other factors.

Bank believes that the Motley Fool mention is important because the site appeals to a more general-interest audience.

Summer growth

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Dan Moskowitz, another analyst writing for the Fool, is also a fan of Vail Resorts’ stock, writing that he believes the company is poised for summer growth. But, he added, he believes the stock is relatively expensive compared to other resort and recreation companies.

Fool analysts aren’t the only ones who believe Vail Resorts’ stock is a good buy.

Barclays Capital analyst Felicia Hendrix specializes in evaluating Vail Resorts and similar companies. She said Barclays has the stock rated with the equivalent of a “buy” sign. Barclays believes Vail Resorts’ stock could hit $85 in the next year or so.

Hendrix said the company’s release on Monday of various financial results has done nothing to alter Barclays’ guidance. That release showed early-season revenue gains, particularly in lift ticket revenue as well as “ancillary” areas including ski school, dining and retail operations. Those gains came mostly from the company’s Colorado resorts, since a historic drought has hit hard in California. Snowfall in the Tahoe area is down 85 percent, and skier visits have been affected.

That report “alleviated” analysts’ concerns, Hendrix said. And, in fact, the company’s stock was up in the next day’s trading.

Continued drought in California could affect Barclays’ guidance somewhat, Hendrix said. But, she added, Barclays’ guidance on Vail Resorts stock is based on more than just seasonal weather.

“It’s predicated on the thesis that the company is a leader,” Hendrix said. In addition, a strong balance sheet and other factors make the company a solid buy.

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