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Carnival Corp. projects coronavirus to have a material impact

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Coronavirus will have a material impact on Carnival Corp. & plc’s financial results that was not anticipated in prior guidance, the company said Wednesday.

Estimate in an evolving situation

‘Since the situation continues to evolve, the company is currently unable to determine the full financial impact on its fiscal year 2020,’ Carnival said in a statement. ‘However, while not currently planned, if the company had to suspend all of its operations in Asia through the end of April, this would impact its fiscal 2020 financial performance by 55 cents to 65 cents per share, which includes guest compensation.

‘In addition, the impact on global bookings will further affect the company's financial performance,’ the statement continued. ‘The company is currently evaluating contingency plans to mitigate the impact and will provide an update with its first quarter 2020 earnings release in late March.’

Voyage cancellations spread

Travel restrictions as a result of coronavirus necessitated the suspension of cruise operations from ports in China, as previously announced, and are now resulting in the cancellation of voyages in other parts of Asia. 

Carnival noted significant events affecting travel typically have an impact on booking patterns, with the full extent of the impact generally determined by the length of time the event influences travel decisions.

Analyst reaction/share price

Analyst Sharon Zackfia at William Blair said the brokerage isn’t changing its estimates at this time, given the fluid nature of the situation.

‘Carnival’s stock is already down 14% year-to-date on concerns related to the coronavirus impact,' she said in a note. 'While we are optimistic any such impact will prove transitory, we maintain our market perform [hold] rating, as Carnival’s performance gap relative to its peers is likely to remain a drag on stock performance and modest EPS growth in 2020 is likely to be entirely driven by external factors (fuel and currency).'

CCL opened at $43.23 on Wednesday and shares were trading up. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock has swung as low as $39.92 and as high as $59.24.

Focus on prevention and control

The company added the safety of guests and employees, compliance and protecting the environment are top priorities. Its medical experts are coordinating closely with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization to implement enhanced screening, prevention and control measures.

Carnival added: ‘The company's global team is working tirelessly to support guests impacted by voyage disruptions during this unprecedented time.’


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