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Carnival Jumps on Growing 2021 Demand, Phased Return to Sea

imageStock Markets6 hours ago (Jul 10, 2020 04:13PM ET)

(C) Reuters.

By Christiana Sciaudone — You still can’t go on a cruise, but that doesn’t matter to investors.

Carnival (NYSE:CCL) shares rose 10.8% on Friday after the cruise operator said it was cutting capacity but indicated that demand for 2021 is growing. CCL is down about 68% in 2020. They closed at $16.16.

Cruises have been halted since mid-March, but Carnival’s AIDA line out of Germany will resume trips with three ships in August, the start of a gradual return to operations.

Despite substantially reduced spending on marketing, the company continues to see demand for new bookings for 2021, Carnival said in a statement. For the most recent booking period, the first three weeks in June 2020, almost 60% of 2021 bookings were new bookings.

The company sold one ship in June and is accelerating the removal of 13 ships, representing 9% of current capacity.

The company has reduced ship operating expenses by transitioning ships into paused status, reduced administrative expenses and non-newbuild capital expenditures by $1.3 billion for 2020 and expects to reduce its newbuild capital expenditures by over $600 million for 2020. Carnival has raised over $10 billion through a series of financing transactions.

“We have already reduced operating costs by over $7 billion on an annualized basis and reduced capital expenditures also by more than $5 billion over the next 18 months, said Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald. “We have secured over $10 billion of additional liquidity to sustain another full year with additional flexibility remaining.”

Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL) Cruises closed up 9.9% on Friday, and Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE:NCLH) Holdings rose 7.9%.

Carnival has four buy ratings, 12 holds and four sells, with an average price target of $16.51. The highest price target of $30 is almost twice where it is trading today.

Carnival Jumps on Growing 2021 Demand, Phased Return to Sea

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