Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean stocks have recovered roughly 20% each since last week, but Truist Securities’ Patrick Scholes continues to see them as “not” a smart pick for 2022.
Scholes defends his dovish stance on CNBC’s ‘Squawk on the Street’
Scholes warns that the cruise companies are still facing “structural issues” that are likely to weigh on the stocks. Defending his dovish stance on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street”, he said:
We’ve seen the reopening trade bounce back here, but Omicron has been far worse than Delta for the cruise lines in terms of its impact on bookings. The bull case for the cruise stocks is if the second half of 2022 is back to normal. It’s possible, but it’s not looking very favourable.
Scholes attributes the boost in cruise stocks over the past week to recent post-earnings comments from the managements that bookings were strong for the next year. For 2022, though, the outlook remains uncertain, he added.
What else could be a challenge for cruise lines this year?
Amidst the highly contagious variant of the Coronavirus, cruise lines are bound to only accept guests that are fully vaccinated at present, which Scholes sees as another headwind for these stocks. He said:
A real challenge, especially for mass-market cruise lines, is the double vaccination requirement. 60% of the population isn’t fully vaccinated. That will negate a lot of family cruising, especially on a mass-market ship like Carnival’s brands.
Scholes rates all three stocks; CCL, RCL, and NCLH, at “hold”. His current price targets, however, translate to a more than 10% downside in the first two but a similar upside in the last.
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