MIAMI (CBSMiami / CNN) – Despite concerns about COVID outbreaks and the rapidly spreading Omicron variant, cruise line stocks held remarkably well in December.
This is no longer the case.
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The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that even those vaccinated should no longer take a cruise vacation. Shares of Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean International, as well as Norwegian Cruise Line, each fell about 1% to 2% on Friday.
Carnival stock is now down around 7% this year while Royal Caribbean has plunged nearly 19% in 2021. Royal Caribbean stock is up 3%, but that’s less than the gain of More 27% of the S&P 500.
Other travel and leisure titles are booming. The Marriott hotel owner is up 25% this year while rival Hilton climbed 40% in 2021 and hit a new record high on Friday.
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The struggles of the three major cruise line operators follow a catastrophic 2020, which forced the three companies to cancel numerous trips during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Royal Caribbean shares plunged nearly 45% last year while Carnival and Norwegian each saw their stock prices cut by more than half in 2020.
All three companies lost money last year and are expected to do so again in 2021. Analysts predict another small loss for Norwegian in 2022 and they have cut Royal Caribbean’s profit targets for next year to in recent months.
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