Analyst Note| Jaime M. Katz, CFA |
Carnival’s preliminary adjusted net loss for $1.9 billion was wider than the $1.3 billion loss we had forecast, but little other insight was offered with the primary look at fourth-quarter 2020. Given the continual movement of start-sail dates (Costa now set to launch in February, AIDA in March, Carnival in April, and Holland America and Princess in May), the 2021 prognosis remains opaque, with losses again set to ensue in both the first quarter and the full year of 2021. Little insight was provided to sway our longer-term demand outlook; Carnival noted that as of Dec. 20, 2020, cumulative advanced bookings for the second half of 2021 are within the historical range and cumulative advanced bookings for the first half of 2022 are ahead of 2019. With our assumption that the domestic vaccine rollout is largely completed by year-end, we don’t plan to alter our already tepid post-COVID-19 forecast that calls for 2% yield and 1% cost growth on average.