|Bid||0.00 x 1100|
|Ask||0.00 x 1000|
|Day's range||10.05 - 12.86|
|52-week range||7.08 - 55.13|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.39|
|PE ratio (TTM)||2.76|
|Earnings date||02 Apr 2020 - 12 Apr 2020|
|Forward dividend & yield||2.00 (17.70%)|
|Ex-dividend date||19 Feb 2020|
|1y target est||44.00|
A Dutch cruise ship that has been in limbo since cases of the coronavirus were confirmed onboard faces an uncertain welcome at its planned destination in Florida, where the governor says he does not want sick passengers "dumped" on the state. Holland America Line's MS Zaandam was allowed to pass through the Panama Canal on Sunday. It had been stuck off Panama's Pacific coast after the company announced the vessel had confirmed cases of the coronavirus on board and that four guests had died.
(Bloomberg) -- Cruise line operator Carnival Corp. is turning to all corners of the capital markets to raise at least $6 billion of cash, the biggest test yet of investor willingness to finance industries ravaged by the coronavirus outbreak.The company is tapping bond investors on both sides of the Atlantic with the sale of at least $3 billion of notes in U.S. dollars and euros. The new bonds will be secured by a first-priority claim on the company’s assets such as its vessels and intellectual property and mature in three years. The dollar-denominated portion is being marketed with a coupon of about 12.5% and the entire offering could be increased to $4 billion, according to people with knowledge of the transaction.Carnival said it also plans to raise $1.25 billion by issuing common stock and another $1.75 billion through the sale of convertible notes to improve its liquidity position. Combined with the $3 billion the company drew on its bank credit lines earlier this month, the bond and stock sales could give the company as much as $10 billion of additional liquidity. The company’s shares fell early in the session before rebounding sharply, trading up almost 10% as of 11:38 a.m. New York time.The offering is a barometer for pandemic-hit capital markets, which have faced historic upheaval in recent weeks. While investors have been loading up on new debt from America’s safest companies, they’ve largely avoided riskier firms, especially those shuttered by the virus. Even with ships as collateral, investors can’t be sure when Carnival will sail again after a series of Covid-19 outbreaks at sea raised concern about the safety of the industry. When it does, the fallout is likely to weigh on consumer demand.Carnival is taking advantage of rampant investor demand that has seen more than $200 billion of debt sold in the U.S. and Europe over the past week. Some, including Sysco Corp. and YUM! Brands Inc., offered higher premiums to lure investors.“What we’re seeing right now are a few phenomenal businesses that are under pressure because of the shutdown. These companies are doing what they can to strengthen their balance sheets, some with new bond sales,” said William Smith, a high-yield portfolio manager at AllianceBernstein.The cruise companies were left out of the recent federal bailout package due to their off-shore status. Although many are headquartered in Miami, most are incorporated in places where they aren’t subject to U.S. federal income taxes and American minimum wage rules. The cruise industry, which has large fixed costs, is now bracing for the possibility of having to go months without customers.Carnival, the industry’s biggest operator, is incorporated in Panama. While it’s still rated investment grade by Moody’s Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings, its existing unsecured bonds have been trading at distressed levels in recent weeks. The new secured debt sale is being managed by banks’ high-yield syndicate desks, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the details are private.JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp. are leading the bond sale, which is expected to be completed on Wednesday. Carnival had been in discussions with banks to raise as much as $7 billion through equity and debt to shore up its finances, Bloomberg previously reported.Carnival earlier this year hosted one of the most dramatic coronavirus episodes aboard its Princess Cruises-branded Diamond Princess, off Yokohama, Japan. The Diamond Princess had more than 700 Covid-19 cases, the biggest outbreak outside mainland China for a while.Another ship on its Holland America Line, Zaandam, is still at sea searching for a place to dock after the death of four passengers from undisclosed causes. The company transferred passengers it believed to be healthy to another ship, and both ships are now sailing for Fort Lauderdale, Florida.(Updates with details on potential increase in size of the offering starting in first paragraph and investor quote.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Carnival Corp.’s planned $3 billion bond sale on April 1 is bound to make a fool out of someone. It’s just not clear whether it will be the investors buying the cruise-line operator’s debt or the company.The case for investors looking foolish: Carnival’s ships are grounded, which of course cuts off its dominant source of revenue. The company’s share price has tumbled from $51 at the start of the year to about $14 as it expects a loss in 2020. Even if it manages to raise $6 billion through bond and stock sales as planned, analysts say that only gives Carnival an 18.5-month liquidity cushion to wait out the coronavirus-induced halt. That’s not much comfort, given that the bonds mature in twice that time and it’s anyone’s guess when — or if — the cruise business returns to normal.The company, on the other hand, is on the verge of paying vastly more to borrow than its triple-B credit rating would indicate. Bloomberg News reported Tuesday that Carnival’s three-year dollar bonds are being marketed with a 12.5% coupon and most likely will come at a discount, bringing the yield up to 13%. In early February, a triple-C rated company, Husky, issued debt at a similarly high rate. Obviously, it feels as if the entire world has changed since then, but even the average single-B bond yields just 9.35%, and the index never topped 12%, even in the height of the sell-off.Effectively, Carnival is investment grade in rating only — markets consider it seriously distressed. Bloomberg News even reported that the deal is running off of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s high-yield syndicate desk, citing people familiar with the matter.Every once in a while, a single corporate-bond sale takes on outsized meaning about the state-of-play in credit markets and investor sentiment about the outlook going forward. Carnival’s offering will almost certainly be such a deal. Carnival, quite contrary to its jovial name, made headlines earlier this year because its ships were basically what much of America has now become, only with virtually no refuge. As my Bloomberg Opinion colleague Timothy L. O'Brien reminds us about the Zaandam, a vessel run by Carnival subsidiary Holland America that’s been called a “death ship”:Although the cruise ship is no stranger to viral outbreaks (two years ago, 73 passengers contracted a norovirus on a trip off the coast of Alaska), the Zaandam and other Holland America and Carnival ships have received high marks in recent sanitation inspections by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet reports have popped up regularly about other Carnival ships that don’t pass muster. (The parent company manages several brands, and the Princess lines have particularly weak health and sanitation records.) So how well prepared was Carnival for something as cataclysmic as the coronavirus?Moreover, why did the Zaandam set sail on March 7? Well before then, two other Carnival ships had already become poster children for the coronavirus. On Feb. 4, the Diamond Princess was quarantined at a Japanese port after a former passenger tested positive for the virus. A subsequent test administered to that ship’s 3,700 passengers and crew turned up 700 infections; several of those people later died. As early as March 3, it was reported that passengers aboard a Grand Princess cruise in February had tested positive. That Carnival ship, returning from Hawaii, was then detained off the California coast for several days before docking on March 9 to prevent a further spread.That doesn’t scream a company worth investing in, especially without signs of federal assistance. But notably, bond traders aren’t necessarily banking entirely on a quick rebound in the cruise industry. Carnival’s new notes will be secured by a first-priority claim on its assets, which should provide some ballpark estimates of a worst-case recovery rate. Still, it’s a tough sell to hinge an offering on liquidation value for a company operating in one of the industries facing the greatest amount of uncertainty.Usually, this is how a deal with such a finger-to-the-wind yield level goes: Investors swarm to the offering and the yield comes down by 50 or 100 basis points, maybe even more. JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Bank of America Corp., which are managing the bond sale, have little incentive to float a coupon rate that was too low to easily clear the market. They want to drum up demand and showcase an oversubscribed order book.These are not ordinary times, though. While I seriously doubt that Carnival would be willing to pay a yield even higher than 13%, it’s possible that the market just isn’t as receptive to hard-hit businesses as it appears. In that case, the offering could be delayed or downsized a bit. It’s issuing in both dollars and euros, potentially to reach a broader swath of investors and avoid such an outcome.Unfortunately for Carnival, it needs the cash quickly. That’s hardly an ideal time to be borrowing. And it’s why 13% might be just the right yield for the company and investors alike to let go of their inhibitions.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The coronavirus pandemic has forced Macy’s Inc. — a retail giant venerable enough to be featured in an old Christmas movie and familiar enough to retain bragging rights to New York’s annual Thanksgiving parade — to throw most of its 130,000 workers into the unknown.Macy’s stores, which include Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury, have been closed since March 18, and the company said on Monday that it will put a “majority” of its workforce on unpaid furloughs starting Wednesday. It also said all those employees, numerous enough to fill cities the size of New Haven, Connecticut, or Santa Clara, California, will have their health insurance premiums covered “at least through May.” After that, who knows?Meanwhile, a Holland America Line cruise ship, the Zaandam, was recently left floating off the coast of Panama for several days with nowhere to go while a coronavirus outbreak wound through its decks. The ship, one of those mammoth floating hotels that can accommodate as many as 1,432 passengers and 607 crew members, was adrift because no Latin American ports would allow it to dock after it departed from Buenos Aires on March 7. Four travelers on the Zaandam have died, at least two others have been infected with the coronavirus, and another 189 are reportedly displaying “flu-like symptoms.”The Panamanian government allowed the Zaandam and a sister ship that has picked up some of its passengers to pass through the Panama Canal on Sunday to sail toward Florida. A Holland America executive said that transiting the canal would allow the Zaandam’s passengers to make their way home. But who knows? The ship intends to dock in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, but local officials there said passengers haven’t been cleared to disembark. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis told Fox News that many of the Zaandam’s passengers were “foreigners” he didn’t want “dumped” in his state.So it goes as the coronavirus tightens its grip worldwide, forcing businesses such as Macy’s and Carnival Corp. (the parent of Holland America) to wrestle with harrowing, existential decisions that affect the financial well-being — and sometimes the survival — of employees and customers. We are likely in the very early stages of what may also be one of the most brutal transformations of corporate and workplace landscapes in generations, with longstanding businesses rocked to their foundations — or entirely brought down.The coronavirus is a villain in all of this, of course. But the pandemic is also a reckoning for businesses that have been slow to turn themselves around, haven’t adapted to earlier transformations in their industries or are simply run too recklessly to survive.Macy’s was struggling long before the coronavirus came along. Its sales have sagged for years, its stores tethered to older, less free-spending shoppers and often located in down-on-their-luck malls. The department store chain has tried to fight back by pursuing off-price retailing and embracing Amazon.com Inc.’s bailiwick — online shopping — more robustly. But Amazon is Amazon and Macy’s is Macy’s, and there’s the rub.The company is doing honorable things as it wrestles with the coronavirus and past mishaps. Its chief executive officer, Jeff Gennette, has given up all of his own compensation for an unspecified period and is finding other ways to cut back on spending. Just six days ago, Gennette said he was doing everything possible to avoid kneecapping his employees with furloughs or layoffs. By Monday, that apparently was no longer tenable. Plans to re-open stores on April 1 were also recently punted."We have no way of knowing how long our stores will remain closed, but we believe it will be at least several weeks before we have a clear line of sight," Gennette wrote in an email to employees.The federal government recently passed its landmark $2 trillion stimulus bill that could potentially offer a lifeline to companies like Macy’s (and other retailers facing the same predicament, including Kohl’s Corp. and Gap Inc.). The legislation sets aside $500 billion in loans and other aid for major corporations that are stumbling. But does it make sense for the government to prop up a company like Macy’s that’s been stumbling for years and might have unraveled even if the coronavirus hadn’t come along? Wouldn’t the money be better spent on direct support for the company’s workers?The decisions Carnival faces in connection with the Zaandam’s wanderings are even more stark. Cruise ships have the potential to act as gigantic, global Petri dishes: Before the coronavirus outbreak, the cruise industry’s largest trade association estimated that as many as 32 million people would take a cruise in 2020.Although the cruise ship is no stranger to viral outbreaks (two years ago, 73 passengers contracted a norovirus on a trip off the coast of Alaska), the Zaandam and other Holland America and Carnival ships have received high marks in recent sanitation inspections by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet reports have popped up regularly about other Carnival ships that don’t pass muster. (The parent company manages several brands, and the Princess lines have particularly weak health and sanitation records.) So how well prepared was Carnival for something as cataclysmic as the coronavirus?Moreover, why did the Zaandam set sail on March 7? Well before then, two other Carnival ships had already become poster children for the coronavirus. On Feb. 4, the Diamond Princess was quarantined at a Japanese port after a former passenger tested positive for the virus. A subsequent test administered to that ship’s 3,700 passengers and crew turned up 700 infections; several of those people later died. As early as March 3, it was reported that passengers aboard a Grand Princess cruise in February had tested positive. That Carnival ship, returning from Hawaii, was then detained off the California coast for several days before docking on March 9 to prevent a further spread.The peril for any ships heading out to sea was clearly known by early March. And if passengers weren’t aware of the danger, Carnival certainly was. Some Zaandam passengers have said they were assured that travelers were adequately screened for signs of the coronavirus prior to departure, but now doubt that claim.Although Carnival may be facing broader business hurdles similar to Macy’s, it can expect no financial lifeline from the federal government. Last week’s stimulus blocked major cruise companies from receiving aid because they are incorporated outside the U.S. (a move that has allowed them to avoid paying federal taxes and to skirt some regulations). What goes around comes around, especially during a pandemic.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Timothy L. O'Brien is a senior columnist for Bloomberg Opinion.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), the world's largest leisure travel company, today announced that Carnival Corporation (the "Corporation") has commenced an underwritten public offering of $1.25 billion of shares of common stock of the Corporation. The Corporation intends to grant the underwriters an option to purchase up to $187.5 million of additional shares. The Corporation expects to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes.
(Bloomberg) -- Crew members of a Holland America Line cruise ship that’s carrying two people infected with the deadly coronavirus and still in search of a port say they aren’t being tested for the pathogen or adequately quarantined if they get sick.A shortage of staff on the Zaandam has meant workers with fever and other coronavirus symptoms are not being isolated for the 14 days many experts recommend, according to family members and social media messages from crew seen by Bloomberg News. The developments come as the cruise line now faces opposition to its plans to dock in Florida with 2,500 guests and crew on two boats, after being turned away by Chile and other countries.The relatives and employees asked not to be identified because they said Holland America has prohibited crew from speaking to the media. The passengers on the Zaandam were confirmed to be infected with Covid-19, and four “older” guests died, the company said on March 27.The accounts of crew and family members paint a troubling picture of the situation on board the vessel, which transferred passengers deemed healthy to a sister ship over the weekend. Sick crew risk fueling the outbreak on board, as experts say they did on two other cruise ships owned by Carnival Corp. that were stricken with the virus this year.The global cruise industry has been hobbled by the pandemic, with vessels from the U.S. to Australia seeing outbreaks, and passengers stranded as countries refused to allow ships to dock.Cleared to WorkOn the ship, some of the Zaandam’s crew reported being cleared by the ship’s doctor to return to work 24 hours after their fever abated, and most crew members who came down with coronavirus symptoms have not been tested for Covid-19. Some sick staff have been working in roles related to dining, according to family members and social media posts.The cruise line is closely coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Grant Tarling, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Carnival Corp., which owns Holland America.“We are complying with the agreed CDC published guidance on the recovery of a COVID-19 patient,” said Tarling, who oversees the medical operations of Holland America and other cruise lines owned by Carnival “It is not true that crew are returning to work after 24 hours of fever.”Holland America, a subsidiary of Carnival, said all crew who have any respiratory illness, including simple colds, are managed as potential Covid-19 cases out of caution and isolated, while their close contacts are quarantined.Individual testing wouldn’t change management of the cases, it said. The company said it follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for in-home quarantines that don’t end until three days have passed without fever and seven days have passed since symptoms began.Fourteen Days of Isolation“Everybody with symptoms should be regarded as infected until proven otherwise, regardless of being crew or passengers,” said Kentaro Iwata, an infectious disease professor at Kobe University who created international headlines by criticizing Japan’s handling of the quarantine of the Diamond Princess. More than 700 were infected and nine died on that ship.“I would isolate them for at least 14 days and until they become asymptomatic,” he said. “I may add even more because they still may carry virus.”The CDC recommends that passengers returning from cruises stay home for 14 days and practice social distancing because of the risk of infection.Crew members on the two earlier Princess ships that had Covid-19 outbreaks hastened the spread of the disease to passengers, according to CDC studies released earlier this month.The captain of the Zaandam, which was originally carrying 1,243 passengers and 586 crew, asked guests to quarantine themselves on March 22 after a number of people on board reported influenza-like symptoms, said the cruise line. Nearly 800 guests deemed healthy have been transferred over the weekend to an empty sister ship, the Rotterdam, to relieve pressure on a Zaandam crew sharply reduced by illness. COVID-19 test kits were also delivered.The Zaandam and the Rotterdam are now headed to south Florida, having passed through the Panama Canal on Monday and scuttling a plan to stop in the Caribbean island of San Andres for supplies. The cruise line was given permission to transit through the Panama Canal on humanitarian grounds after authorities initially refused it.A flu-like outbreak has spread quickly through the Zaandam: 73 guests and 116 crew members have reported influenza-like symptoms, according to the company. That’s a 37% spike from numbers released three days ago.Read: Passengers on ‘Death Ship’ Plead for Rescue as Virus Strikes Crew and their family members said they feared many workers may be infected with the deadly pathogen. A few who experienced fever and coughs or sore throats had asked the ship’s doctors to get tested and were refused, according to their relatives.Crew in quarantine also complained about missed meals, not having access to medication readily or insufficient food because of the shortage of workers. A few meals included just pieces of bread, said relatives.Florida-BoundIn a video address to passengers on Sunday, Holland America Line President Orlando Ashford said the ship transfer of passengers was conducted to reduce the workload for crew and have open cabins to isolate people.“Our first and primary goal is to manage and protect the safety, health and security of all of you,” Ashford said. “I apologize for the fact that this has turned out to not be the exact vacation you signed up for. It’s turned out to be a safety and humanitarian effort.”Both ships will be traveling together and are bound for Fort Lauderdale, Florida, said the company. The Zaandam’s voyage began at Buenos Aires on March 7, on a South America cruise that was originally scheduled to end at San Antonio, Chile, on March 21. Just a day after it departed, the U.S. State Department cautioned consumers against getting on cruises, an advisory that other governments later issued as well.Chile wouldn’t allow the vessel to dock and soon all ports were closed off to the Zaandam. The second leg of its original voyage had the ship disembarking passengers in Fort Lauderdale.Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, in an interview with Fox News, said he’s opposed to having Holland America passengers get off in south Florida and doesn’t want those who aren’t residents of the state “dumped” there.Meanwhile, Dean Trantalis, the mayor of Fort Lauderdale, called for strict protocols.“The U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security must create a plan to protect our community,” Trantalis wrote in a tweet. “We cannot afford any further risk.”(Updates with Holland America executive’s comments in the seventh paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Editor's Note: Please join my colleagues and Tori Barnes from the U.S. Travel Association online at noon on April 1 for a live discussion of these issues and themes. We'll present details from multiple industry sectors as well as explain what we know as of now. You can register here. I hope to (virtually) see […]
Investors need to pay close attention to Carnival Corporation (CCL) stock based on the movements in the options market lately.
(Bloomberg) -- For passengers on a Holland America Line cruise ship, a fun-filled voyage on the luxury liner is quickly turning into a nightmare with deteriorating conditions on board and fears of a full-blown coronavirus outbreak after four travelers died and two others were infected.“We are stuck on this death ship,” said Yadira Garza, who is on board with her newly-wed husband. “We are freaked out and terrified that we will be infected too. It’s just a matter of time if we stay on the ship.”Passengers on the Zaandam, currently off the coast of Panama, say they are desperate to get off the liner after Chile wouldn’t allow the vessel to dock. The company also said all ports on the ship’s route have also refused entry. Guests and their family members have taken to Twitter to plead for help.Then came some good news on Saturday: the ship’s captain announced Holland America is moving some passengers to a sister ship, the Rotterdam, because so many crew members have gotten sick, said Garza. The Panamanian government also agreed to let the Zaandam sail through the Panama Canal, reversing an earlier decision to block passage.On Sunday, small boats ferried passengers who’d been deemed healthy after answering a short medical questionnaire, and didn’t have a fever, from the Zaandam to the Rotterdam. Crew members took passengers in groups of 20 or so, instructing them to sit a few feet apart and not touch anything as a sort of on-board social distancing, said Andrea Bergmann Anderson, who watched the maneuvers through the sealed window of her cabin inside the Zaandam.“They needed to get people off this ship to relieve the pressure because our crew is getting sick,” said Anderson, 63. She left her home near Cincinnati with her husband on March 4 to take the cruise, was denied the transfer to the ship anchored nearby after she told ship medical officers she’d been getting over a minor head cold when she started the journey. Anderson said the ship’s crew seems to be doing the best they can. She’s trying to stay calm and make the best of her confinement in her cabin. “Panicking doesn’t help anyone,” she said.Some passengers on the Zaandam said they were confident they would come out of the ordeal safe and sound. Ian Rae posted video of his wife Moven Rae, standing on her cabin balcony, the Rotterdam visible in the background, smiling. She said she they are being well-fed and cared for as best the crew can. “We don’t feel trapped,” she said. “We feel as if we are being kept safe in our cabin.”Meanwhile, relatives of crew members on board the ship say they are being asked to work despite falling sick, or shortly after recovering from fever. Food is being delivered uncovered, with Garza describing finding hair and eyelashes on their plates of food.Holland America, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp., didn’t respond to an emailed request for comment on conditions for crew aboard the ship. It said in a tweet it’s working with Panamanian authorities on the transit.The Zaandam is the latest vessel owned by Carnival, the biggest cruise line in the world, to be struck with outbreaks of coronavirus, plunging the ships into dramatic public health crises that gripped the world’s attention. Now, some angry passengers say they weren’t screened adequately, even as governments, including the U.S., advised citizens to avoid cruise ships.Garza and her husband say they were reassured by Holland America that health screenings and temperature checks would be conducted on passengers getting on board. Health screenings consisted of a self-reported questionnaire of symptoms, she said, and they didn’t see any temperature checks done.“We thought that since it’s a very well-known company, they would take severe measures,” said Garza.The couple, both in their 30s and from Monterrey, Mexico, boarded the ship March 7 in Buenos Aires for their honeymoon. The journey was supposed to have ended a week ago at San Antonio, Chile.Like Anderson, they’re also not getting off anytime soon. Joel Gonzalez, Garza’s husband, had a slight and brief fever a few days ago and they’ve been told they wouldn’t be transferred to the Rotterdam. They are seeking help from Mexican consular officials.The captain of the ship, originally carrying 1,243 passengers and 586 crew, asked guests to quarantine themselves on March 22 after a number of people on board reported influenza-like symptoms, said the cruise line. Four “older” passengers on the ship died and two individuals have tested positive, it said Friday, heightening anxiety on board.A total of 53 guests and 85 crew members have reported to the medical center with flu-like symptoms, it said. And when Garza complained about long waits for service, a ship doctor told her Saturday that 40% of the crew are now sick, she said.Three relatives of crew members say they’re worried that their family members working on board and many of their co-workers haven’t been tested. Two of them say their sick relatives are being asked to work, with many of them working overtime. Relatives of crew members have been discussing working conditions via a message group and they have asked not to be identified because crew members were recently instructed to not speak with the media about conditions on board.Staffing ShortageIn an announcement to passengers on Saturday, the captain seemed to acknowledge the staffing shortage. The Rotterdam is delivering medical supplies and kits to test passengers and crew for Covid-19.“We have to re-balance the workload of the crew,” the captain said over the loudspeaker, in explaining the transfer of passengers.There’s growing concern about crew members spreading coronavirus. Crew members on two earlier Princess ships that had Covid-19 outbreaks hastened the spread of the disease to passengers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studies released earlier this month.Two Costa Ships Begin Disembarking Sick Crew Members in MiamiAnother cruise vessel, the Costa Diadema, has arrived ahead of schedule near an Italian port already busy handling other cruise ships, Italy’s transportation ministry said on Sunday. One crew member has symptoms that resemble coronavirus, the ministry said, and the ship will be checked thoroughly at another site.On the Zaandam, like Garza and her husband, some passengers will be stuck on the ship, and may stay on as it sails through the canal and the Caribbean Sea, until it finally reaches Fort Lauderdale, Florida.Still, it may not be a straight-forward disembarkation. Michael Udine. a commissioner for Broward County, where Fort Lauderdale is located, said at a special meeting Tuesday that he wanted to propose a motion to deny the ship’s entry, Local 10 News reported. Broward has 820 coronavirus cases and 11 deaths so far, according to Johns Hopkins data.After Zaandam’s stop in Panama, he said there should be strict protocols at his county’s ports. “There must be a strict plan put in place,” he said. “It must provide for the safety of all impacted.”Lance Hutton, an 80-year-old retiree from Missouri, says he and his wife have been wracked with anxiety the past two weeks as the Zaandam sailed from its last port of call, Punta Arenas, on the southern tip of South America. Chile refused to let passengers get off and it sailed for days to the waters off Valparaiso, 90 minutes west of Santiago. The ship took on fuel and supplies, and was denied permission to dock before reaching Panama.The transfer of passengers to Rotterdam alongside the Zaandam was “to spread us out,” Hutton said, relating the captain’s announcement in which he said more people were falling sick, many with respiratory ailments.The couple, who don’t have any illness symptoms, thought they were finally getting off the ship. Instead, they were told by an officer aboard they are being denied a transfer because Hutton uses a machine to help him breathe during sleep and combat snoring. “Now, we just want to get off this ship and go home,” said Hutton in a telephone interview from his little cabin with a window. “That’s all we want.”(Updates with passenger comments starting in fifth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Hundreds of passengers on a cruise ship, where four people have died and over 130 others have influenza-like symptoms, including at least two with the coronavirus, will be transferred to a sister ship, Panamanian authorities said on Saturday. "The ship which could not dock at any port in South America will remain in Panamanian waters 8 nautical miles from the coast, since it did not receive approval from Panamanian health authorities to cross the (Panama) Canal," Panama's maritime authority said. It said 401 asymptomatic passengers will be transferred from cruise operator Holland America Line's 238-meter (781-foot) MS Zaandam vessel to the Rotterdam, a sister ship.
While some FTSE 100 stocks are being hit by the Covid-19 driven market crash, yet others are making progress. I'd consider buying them.The post One FTSE 100 stock I’d buy and 1 I’d avoid in this stock market crash appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. became the first country to reach 100,000 coronavirus cases. Italy had its deadliest day with almost 1,000 fatalities. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his health secretary tested positive.President Donald Trump ordered General Motors to start making ventilators by invoking a Cold War-era law. Toyota’s idled U.S. manufacturing facilities will make much-needed face shields and masks.New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said new infections will be “astronomical.” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned his city may see a New York-like surge in less than a week.Key Developments:Cases top 585,000; 26,800 dead, 130,000 recovered: Johns HopkinsU.S. cases top 100,000, more than Italy, ChinaU.S. ramps up virus testing, but demand still outpaces supplyWorkers critical to world’s food supply falling illU.K. orders unprecedented shutdown of housing marketTokyo braces for critical weekendFrom Spain to Germany, farmers warn of fresh food shortagesSubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here.Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus and here for maps and charts. For analysis of the impact from Bloomberg Economics, click here. To see the impact on oil and commodities demand, click here.U.S. Becomes First Nation With 100,000 Cases (5:27 p.m. NY)The U.S. became the first country to surpass 100,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Friday, a day after it overtook China to become the largest outbreak in the world. America’s most prominent hot spots are New York and New Jersey, which together account for half the country’s total cases. California has more than 4,000.L.A. Warns of New York-Level Surge in Five Days (5:06 p.m. NY)Los Angeles could see a coronavirus surge similar to New York City’s in five days if the spread continues at the rate it’s been going, Mayor Eric Garcetti said.“We will have doctors making excruciating decisions,” Garcetti said at a press briefing alongside Governor Gavin Newsom. They spoke in front of the U.S. Navy hospital ship Mercy, which docked in Los Angeles to lend extra medical space for non-coronavirus needs. It will be the largest hospital in the city, Garcetti said.Rhode Island Stops Cars With N.Y. Plates (5 p.m. NY)Rhode Island police, aided by the National Guard, on Saturday will conduct house-to-house searches to find people who traveled from New York to demand they begin 14 days of self-quarantine. State police are already stopping cars with New York license plates.“Right now we have a pin-pointed risk,” Governor Gina Raimondo said. “And that risk is called New York City.”Raimondo, a Democrat, said she consulted lawyers and while she couldn’t close the border, she felt confident she could enforce a quarantine. Many New Yorkers have summer houses in the state, especially in tony Newport, and the governor said authorities would be checking there.Trump Signs $2 Trillion Stimulus Bill (4:47 p.m. NY)President Donald Trump signed the largest stimulus package in U.S. history, a $2 trillion aid bill intended to rescue the economy. The plan will provide a massive injection of loans, tax breaks and direct payments to large corporations, small businesses and individuals whose revenue and income have plummeted under social distancing restrictions.Read full story hereFour Die on Holland America Cruise Ship (4:30 p.m. NY)Carnival Corp.’s Holland America line said four passengers died on its Zaandam ship, which has had an outbreak of flu-like symptoms on board, including at least two confirmed cases of Covid-19. The cruise line said the passengers were “older” but didn’t say how they died.The Zaandam, currently near Panama, was still at sea when cruise companies halted new voyages earlier this month.Trump Orders GM to Make Ventilators (4 p.m. NY)President Donald Trump ordered General Motors Co. to immediately begin making ventilators, invoking a Cold War-era defense act amid productive talks with the automaker.“Our negotiations with GM regarding its ability to supply ventilators have been productive, but our fight against the virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course. GM was wasting time,” Trump said in a statement. “Today’s action will help ensure the quick production of ventilators that will save American lives.”GM and ventilator maker Ventec Life Systems Inc. had much of what they needed in place to ramp up production of the breathing machines. They were just waiting on the Trump administration to place orders and cut checks.Belgium May Keep Limits Until May 2 (3 p.m. NY)Belgium extended restrictions on citizens and businesses, which took effect March 14, by two weeks until April 19, and Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes signaled a further extension to May 3, saying it’s too early to declare the epidemic under control. Belgians must stay at home except for essential activities such as grocery shopping. Gatherings by more than two people are banned and stores selling non-essential goods remain closed.N.Y. Seeks Aid for Four New Hospitals (2:45 p.m. NY)New York is seeking federal assistance for four new emergency hospitals, Governor Andrew Cuomo said, as the number of state deaths spiked 35% in a day to more than 500.The new sites would join four centers the U.S. is setting up in the city, he said. The state wants more beds for Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties. Cuomo spoke from the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Manhattan’s west side, which is being converted into a 1,000-bed emergency hospital that will open Monday.Cuomo said current demand for medical equipment is adequately covered and that the state is stockpiling additional supplies for a potential peak of infections three weeks from now. “We don’t need them yet,” he said. “We need them for the apex.”The governor said he would keep the state’s schools closed for an additional two weeks, at which time the situation will be reassessed.Luxembourg Plans to Test for Herd Immunity (1:30 p.m. NY)Luxembourg is in an intensive planing phase to be among the first nations to research so-called herd immunity based on new blood tests the country is expecting to get, Health Minister Paulette Lenert said Friday.The new tests wouldn’t check for Covid-19 infections but whether people have developed immunity against the new virus. Luxembourg, due to its small population of just over 600,000 people, is in a fortunate position to do this, the minister said. Scientists would be able to test samples that would be representative of the entire population, the minister said.Italy’s Daily Toll Nears 1,000 (12:35 pm. NY)Italy had its highest daily death toll even as the number of new cases declined on Friday. Fatalities shot up to 969, the most in a 24-hour period since the start of the outbreak.New infections totaled 5,959, compared with 6,153 the previous day, civil protection authorities said at their daily news conference in Rome. Italy now has 86,498 total cases, roughly the same number as the U.S. and more than China, where the disease’s first outbreak occurred.U.S. Buys More Ventilators (12:30 p.m. NY)President Donald Trump said the federal government bought “many ventilators” from several companies he didn’t identify. Trump in a tweet said the names will be announced later.State and local officials have been pleading with the federal government for more ventilators as cases of the coronavirus mount.France Extends Restrictions (12:20 p.m. NY)French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said public confinement is being extended to April 15. The restrictions could be further extended if needed, he said in a press conference after a cabinet meeting on Friday. A scientific committee consulted by the government recommends at least six weeks of confinement, he said.Portugal’s Cases Rise 20% (12:14 p.m. NY)Portugal’s cases rose 20% to 4,268 from 3,544 a day earlier, the government’s Directorate-General of Health said. That compares with a daily increase of 18% reported Thursday and a 27% rise on Wednesday. The total number of deaths increased to 76 on Friday from 60 reported through Thursday morning.Director-General of Health Graça Freitas said the data suggest the peak won’t be a moment in time but rather a plateau, and may not occur before May.Libya, Syria Face Catastrophe: WHO (11:35 a.m. NY)Libya reported its first case this week, meaning 21 of 22 Eastern Mediterranean nations have infections. The World Health Organization said Libya’s capacity to respond is extremely limited in some areas and non-existent in others, with a large movement of people from neighboring countries.The outbreak also threatens to cause a catastrophe in Syria, the WHO said. Half of the nation’s hospitals are not functioning after nine years of war and thousands of health workers having fled the country. Millions of displaced people live in overcrowded camps in the country’s northwest, but after two days of tests using 300 WHO kits, no cases so far have been detected, the agency said.Toyota Shifts Factories to Face Shields (11:07 a.m. NY)Toyota Motor Corp.’s idled manufacturing facilities in the U.S. will make much-needed face shields and masks, and the Japanese automaker is closing in on deals with medical-device makers to help them boost production.The carmaker said Friday it will start mass production of face shields early next week to supply hospitals near its plants in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Texas. Toyota also said it is finalizing pacts with at least two companies to make breathing ventilators and respirator hoods, and it’s looking for partners to make protective masks. The company on Thursday extended its shutdown of North American factories for two weeks.U.K. Virus Deaths Jump 30% (10:29 a.m. NY)The number of people in the U.K. who have died from coronavirus increased by 31% to 759 as of Thursday, the Department of Health said. That’s higher than the five-day average of 20%.Some 14,579 have tested positive for the disease as of Friday, an increase of about 25%, above the five-day average of 20%.Two Fed Bankers Confident of Rebound (10:29 a.m. NY)Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan expressed confidence the U.S. economy will rebound when restrictions on activity are lifted.“This is a public health crisis” and different from a typical recession, Bostic said on Bloomberg Television Friday. Kaplan offered a similar view a few minutes earlier. “We were strong before we went into this, and we believe that we’ve got a great chance to come out of this very strong,” he said.Kaplan said unemployment would peak “in the low to mid teens” before recovering to around 7%-to-8% by year-end.Coronavirus Response Leaves U.K. Vulnerable: Lancet (9:29 a.m. NY)A delayed response by the U.K. government to the coronavirus pandemic has left the health system “wholly unprepared” for an expected surge of critically ill patients, according to the editor of the medical journal The Lancet.In a letter posted on the journal’s website, Richard Horton described chaos and panic across the National Health Service, basing his comments on messages he received from workers. The government last month should have expanded testing capacity, ensured the distribution of protective equipment and stepped up training, he said.U.K. Prime Minister, Health Secretary Have Virus (9:17 a.m. NY)British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will self-isolate in Downing Street for seven days after a test found he had the coronavirus, spokesman James Slack told reporters on Friday. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has also contracted the illness, in a double blow to the U.K. government’s response to the crisis.Both men have reported mild symptoms. Meals will be left at Johnson’s door while he continues to work by video-conference, Slack said. Hancock is self-isolating and working from home.These are the latest high-profile individuals to contract the virus in Britain after Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, tested positive.U.K. Sees No Change to Brexit Timetable (8:29 a.m. NY)“In terms of the timetable there’s no change from our point of view,” the U.K. prime minister’s spokesman James Slack told reporters in a conference call. Slack was asked if there would be an extension to the Brexit transition period beyond December.NYC Mayor Says Trump Needs to Face Reality on Ventilators (8:20 a.m. NY)New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said cases of the new coronavirus are going to become “astronomical,” putting unprecedented strain on the hospital system. Trump said in an interview on Fox News that he didn’t think New York state needed the 30,000 ventilators that Governor Andrew Cuomo has asked for to treat Covid-19 patents with respiratory conditions.“When the president says the state of New York doesn’t need 30,000 ventilators, with all due respect to him, he’s not looking at the facts of this astronomical growth of this crisis,” de Blasio said. “If they don’t have a ventilator, a lot of people are just not going to make it.”Rolls-Royce Pauses U.K. Civil-Engine Output (8:07 a.m. NY)Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc will wind down jetliner-engine production in the U.K. as it spends a week implementing cleanup and safety measures to cope with the coronavirus outbreak. The company, which makes turbines for wide-body planes, will “significantly reduce” all but essential activities within its U.K. civil aerospace facilities from midnight, it said in a statement Friday.Rolls-Royce is taking a break from manufacturing after customer Airbus SE also paused production to check on measures to protect employees from Covid-19. Boeing Co. has gone a step further, winding down planemaking in the Seattle area for two weeks after a worker died of virus-related complications.China Ramps Up Stimulus Measures (8 a.m. NY)China will “appropriately” raise its fiscal deficit as a share of gross domestic product, issue special sovereign debt and allow local governments to sell more infrastructure bonds as part of a stimulus package to stabilize the economy, according to a politburo meeting on Wednesday, central China television reported late on Friday.Italy Virus Curve Seen Flattening Slightly (7:49 a.m. NY)The curve of new coronavirus cases in Italy appears to have started flattening slightly since March 20, Silvio Brusaferro, head of the country’s National Health Institute, said at a press conference on Friday. The mortality rate in the country is proportional to patients’ age, Brusaferro said.The National Health Institute said the country wasn’t at the peak of the contagion yet, but the head of the Superior Health Council Franco Locatelli said there were clear signs that the containment measures “are efficient, so people must respect them.”Italy reported its biggest rise in coronavirus infections in the last five days on Thursday, as the disease spread further in the northern Lombardy region, even after weeks of rigid lockdown rules.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Carnival Corp. is in talks to raise as much as $7 billion as the cruise ship operator seeks to shore up its finances amid a halt on global travel, according to people with knowledge of the matter.The company, looking to raise cash to improve liquidity as the Covid-19 pandemic upends its business, is being advised by lenders including JPMorgan Chase & Co., said the people, who requested anonymity because the matter is private.Carnival is discussing issuing a mix of debt and equity, the people said. Options include issuing $3 billion to $7 billion in senior secured first-lien debt, implying a loan-to-value ratio of about 25%, they said. The company is also weighing issuing $1.5 billion in convertible notes and $1 billion to $2 billion in common equity, one of the people said. The situation remains fluid, they said.Representatives for Carnival and JPMorgan declined to comment.Carnival fell as much as 21% on Friday after a late change to the U.S. stimulus package limited relief for companies not incorporated in the U.S. The largest cruise industry player, Carnival is incorporated in Panama but operates out of Miami.The stock has fallen 71% this year and was trading at $14.66 at 2:41 p.m. in New York, giving it a market value of about $9.6 billion.Carnival said this month it was looking for additional financing after providing notice to borrow about $3 billion under an existing credit facility. It also said it expects to post a loss this fiscal year.(Updates with additional details of financing starting in first graph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Soldiers have taken over street corners in poor neighborhoods. The mayor is answering to an emergency committee run by the army. Hundreds of curfew violators have been detained.Nowhere has the coronavirus hit harder in Latin America than in Ecuador and nowhere more so than in the steamy coastal business center of Guayaquil, where there is a military-run lockdown. The city and its surroundings account for more than 70% of the nearly 1,400 confirmed cases. The mayor and four other heads of suburbs have all tested positive. Thirty-four Ecuadorians have died.Ecuador is a country of 17.5 million people who depend on oil, shrimp, cut flowers and banana exports to keep their dollarized economy humming and this couldn’t have come at a worse time.Hospitals are facing stress even with testing showing a lag of two weeks to get definitive results. So desperate was the Guayaquil mayor, Cynthia Viteri, to protect the population, that she ordered police pickup trucks to the airport to prevent empty European flights from landing to ferry out nationals who were stuck in the quarantine.Close to 3,000 soldiers have been deployed locally, according to Karla Escobar, an aide to Viteri. “The army is in charge under the emergency committee in coordination with the mayor,” she said by phone.With government finances reeling, private donors have stepped up to pay for and distribute 120,000 food kits to needy families in only a week, said social activist Karla Morales.The pandemic in Guayas province, with a population of 4.4 million and where temperatures range from 24 to 31 Celsius (75 to 88 Fahrenheit) in March, has cast doubt on the notion, suggested by some scientists, that Covid-19 wouldn’t spread as quickly in warmer weather, as with other viruses. This theory has been the basis for hope that the virus will slow in the Northern Hemisphere in coming months.Total cases in and around Guayaquil outnumber those of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s megacity with 20 million inhabitants in the greater metropolitan area.The health crisis hits Ecuador at a particularly vulnerable time. The country depends on crude exports for 10% of government revenue and prices have collapsed 54% in the past month.President Lenin Moreno’s government can’t print its way out of the crisis since it uses the U.S. dollar as its official currency and the limited spare cash Ecuador has is needed to pay foreign debts. Its bonds, which have fallen 75% this year -- more than any other government securities -- resumed losses Wednesday.On March 23, when faced with a $325 million debt payment with reserves standing at just $3.2 billion, the government rejected calls from Congress to impose a moratorium on its obligations and paid the bond, only the second maturity fully met in its 190 years of independence.The move begs the question whether other poor nations will be faced with using resources to bolster health care facilities or staying current with international creditors.The government argued that paying the bond now unlocks $2.5 billion of financing and future foreign debt payments will be re-profiled including the use of grace periods for interest payments to allow focus to shift to the health emergency.While it arrived relatively late in Latin America, the coronavirus is now spreading. The initial cases came from affluent world travelers who may have gone to Venice, Italy for the Carnival or skied in Vail, Colorado or conducted business in Wuhan, China. Ecuador’s first case came from Spain. As the virus spreads from wealthier citizens who can pay private health care to lower-middle income communities that depend on public health systems, the strain could overrun most countries in what is the world’s most unequal region in terms of income disparity.Moreno, a 67-year-old former vice president to leftist Rafael Correa, swiftly pivoted 180 degrees after winning the presidency in 2017 and embraced pro-market reforms. While he’s made attempts to push through changes to put Ecuador on a sustainable debt and growth path with the help of a $4.2 billion credit agreement with the International Monetary Fund, he’s run into resistance from powerful indigenous groups.In October, he was forced to roll back an attempt to end fuel subsidies after protests paralyzed the capital and sent him and his cabinet fleeing to Guayaquil, and now he’s facing calls to allow informal workers to break a curfew to hawk their goods in street markets for their livelihood.“We’re waiting for the banks to give us some kind of help,” said Roberto Cabrera, 56, who has a walk-up bakery in Guayaquil. “I’m asking a brother for a loan because we live day to day.”In the latest World Bank and World Health Organization data available, Ecuador has an average 1.5 hospital beds per 1,000 inhabitants, compared with an average of 2.2 beds in Latin America and the Caribbean.“If a guy is feeding his family on $5 a day, faced with a choice of going hungry or the risk of contracting the Coronavirus, he’ll go out,” said Cesar Gonzaga, a security analyst. “For a Guayaquileño, the state doesn’t exist, no matter what the government says.”(Updates figures on cases, deaths in second paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Royal Dutch Shell (LON: RDSB) and Carnival (LON: CCL) demonstrate that not all dividends are equal.The post The crucial thing to remember when buying FTSE 100 income stocks during the coronavirus crash appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.