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Carnival Continues to Tread Water as Pandemic Slams Earnings

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Using analogies like 'sinking ship' or 'under water' truly aren't fair, but they are difficult to steer away from when looking at the likes of Carnival's  (CCL)  second-quarter numbers.

Carnival on Thursday announced a massive second-quarter loss and steps to begin selling off a half-dozen of its older cruise ships in an effort to keep itself afloat as its operations remain docked and padlocked amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Miami-based company posted an adjusted loss of $2.4 billion, or $3.30 a share, vs. earnings of $457 million, or 66 cents a share, in the comparable year-earlier quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet had been looking for a loss of $1.52 a share.

Including $2 billion in charges over the three-month period, the company posted a non-GAAP loss of $4.4 billion, or $6.07 a share. Revenue came in at $700 million, down more than fivefold from the $4.8 billion it brought in a year earlier.

Carnival revealed the depths of its efforts to keep itself financially afloat while waiting out the pandemic, including plans to generate more cash by selling off older ships.

The company said it has secured preliminary agreements for the disposal of six of its older ships, which are expected to leave the fleet in the next 90 days, and is currently working toward additional agreements that will keep its coffers flush with cash. 

Total customer deposits balance as of the end of May were $2.9 billion, including $475 million related to cruises during the second half of 2020. As of May 31, customer deposits totaled $2.6 billion, with $121 million relating to third-quarter sailings and $353 million relating to fourth-quarter sailings, Carnival said.

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