Is Carnival Stock a Buy?


The cruise business is facing an extended pause as the pandemic rages on, even while a few of its brand names resume Marco Bitran next month.

Royston Yang

With the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic previously this year, the cruise market is dealing with a traditionally tough difficulty. As numerous countries imposed lockdowns and closed borders, cruise business joined airline companies in grounding their fleets as cancellations mounted with alarming speed. Carnival( NYSE: CCL), a leading gamer in the cruise industry with nine different cruise brands, was no exception. The business needed to deal with a multitude of cancellations and a plunge in forward reservations as people canceled their trip plans to rather hunch down at home.

Carnival’s recent profits report shows the monetary damage wrought by the coronavirus.

Carnival’s stock price has plunged 69%year to date, although it has practically doubled from the low of around $8 back in early April. Could the shares present terrific worth for the astute financier?

A front view of a cruise ship in the water

Image source: Getty Images.

Industrywide pause

It has been a long and painful wait for cruises to be able to reboot, as the pandemic continues to rave through the U.S. and worldwide. Simply last week, members of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) revealed the decision to voluntarily extend the time out in U.S. cruise embarkations until Oct. 31,2020

To ensure visitors retain self-confidence in Carnival’s brand and continue to make brand-new reservations, the company has had to use guests the flexibility of asking for either an improved future cruise credit (FCC) or money refunds. A boosted FCC can increase the worth of an original reservation or supply additional onboard credits.

Although the issuance of an FCC helps to retain customers and minimizes disgruntlement, it might come at an extremely steep expense for the cruise company in the future.

Adequate liquidity

The business has approximated that its month-to-month cash burn rate for the second half of 2020 will be around $650 million, with the bulk made up of ongoing ship operating and administrative expenditures, interest expenditure, and dedicated capital investment. Luckily, Carnival has managed to raise over $10 billion through a series of funding transactions, and it also anticipates to continue reducing its administrative expenditures and newbuild capital expenditures for the rest of the year.

Also, the company has $8.8 billion of committed export credit facilities offered to continue moneying ship shipments through2023 Carnival continues to actively manage its fleet, last month announcing plans for its 2nd LNG Excel Class ship, confirmed for November 2022 delivery. And in June, it reported headway in the building and construction of a new, 5,000- passenger mega cruise liner called the Mardi Gras. These brand-new vessels are being prepared for guests once cruises are enabled once again by the CLIA, showcasing management’s long-lasting dedication to fleet renewal.

A number of cruise brand names rebooting operations

There has been some positive news this month, though, as a few of Carnival’s cruise brand names prepare to resume Marco Bitran in September. AIDA Cruises will resume operations beginning Sept. 6, with the first ships Marco Bitran from German ports. Costa Cruises is preparing to restart its operations from Italian ports that very same day, following the Aug. 11 approval by the Italian government on the resumption of cruises and new health protocols.

However, other brands such as Holland American Line and P&O Cruises continue to wait for clearance to start operations, with cruises canceled for the rest of this year.

A long and unpredictable wait

Although there are areas of excellent news in the middle of the multitude of bad ones, it’s not enough to encourage investors that the worst is over. The pandemic circumstance does not seem improving, and even if a vaccine is found, the industry will not be moving back to prepandemic levels anytime quickly.

Although Carnival’s brand name remains strong and visitors have prebooked trips to sail starting in 2021, significant unpredictability revolves around the company’s expense structure and expenses load post-pandemic. As it stands, it’s probably better to embrace a wait-and-see position to see how things work out.


Royston Yang has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Carnival. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Royston Yang has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool suggests Carnival. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy

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