Cruise Stocks Lower as CDC Affirms Nov. 1 for Resuming Trips

Major cruise stocks Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian fell after the CDC affirmed Nov. 1 as the date for resuming trips.
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Major cruise line stocks -- Carnival  (CCL) - Get Report Royal Caribbean Cruises  (RCL) - Get Report and Norwegian Cruise Line  (NCLH) - Get Report -- fell Wednesday after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the ban on U.S. cruises until Nov. 1 is still in place.

Carnival recently traded at $24.90, down 1.7%; Royal Caribbean at $83.25, down 0.8%; and Norwegian at $25.97, down 2.4%

Meanwhile, the Cruise Lines International Association, which represents 95% of global ocean-going cruise capacity, on Wednesday urged the CDC to allow a phased resumption of cruise operations from U.S. ports by July 1.

“The early-July timeframe is in line with President Biden’s forecast for when the U.S. will be ‘closer to normal,’” CLIA said in a statement.

“Over the past eight months, a highly controlled resumption of cruising has continued in Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific -- with nearly 400,000 passengers sailing to date in more than 10 major cruise markets,” the group’s president, Kelly Craighead, said.

“These voyages were successfully completed with industry-leading protocols that have effectively mitigated the spread of COVID-19.”

Last week, Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian received price-target increases from J.P. Morgan, based on the prospect of economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

“We … raise our price targets on slightly higher target multiples driven by positively evolving expectations for potential pricing power,” J.P. Morgan analyst Brandt Montour wrote in a commentary.

Also last week, UBS raised its rating on Carnival to buy from neutral and more than doubled its target price to $42 from $20 on optimism about the company's long-term prospects.