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Cruise ship Emerald Princess, operated by Carnival Plc, sits moored in the harbor during the Monaco Yacht Show (MYS) in Monaco, France, on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Cruise ship stocks stumble

Cruise ship Emerald Princess, operated by Carnival Plc, sits moored in the harbor during the Monaco Yacht Show (MYS) in Monaco, France, on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

News analysts at the New York Times reported on Friday, March 6 that coronavirus cases in California grew to at least 60 yesterday.

Meanwhile, a cruise line tied to the outbreak is increasing local tension as the medical community and citizens await tests results for occupants who are waiting offshore San Francisco for permission to land.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship, operated by Carnival Corp., sits docked as members of media stand in Yokohama, Japan, on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020.

The New York Times said the virus has now been reported as affecting nearly 100,000 people across six continents, noting that experts have identified two strains at work – one more virulent than the other.

The analysts said that the outbreak is projected to cost the US travel industry “billions of dollars, the biggest hit since the economic meltdown of 2008-09.”

Marketwatch.com took note that shares of cruise ship operators slid by double-digit on Thursday.

  • Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s stock RCL, -16.28 per cent  plummeted 17.1 per cent to $65.78.
  • Carnival Corp. shares CCL, -14.14 per cent  tumbled 14.1 per cent to $27.87.
  • Shares of Norwegian Line Holdings Ltd. NCLH, -13.36 per cent  sank 13.4 per cent.

 Royal said in advice to investors last month that the COVID-19 outbreak could shave 65 cents a share off 2020 earnings, while Carnival said it could face a negative earnings impact of 55 cents to 65 cents in 2020 if all operations are suspended in Asia through the end of April, Marketwatch reported.

The Ruby Princess, a Grand-class cruise ship operated by Princess Cruises, drops anchor in the Santa Barbara Channel on February 15, 2019, in Santa Barbara, California.

Over the past three months, shares of Royal have lost 45.6 per cent, Carnival has declined 37.0 per cent and Norwegian have slid 47.3 per cent , while the S&P 500 index SPX, -3.39 per cent  has slipped 3.0 per cent.

Instinet analyst Harry Curtis said in a recent note to clients that Norwegian and Royal Caribbean shares should be owned, but “the mystery is when, since headlines could get worse.”

Analysts at a San Francisco Bay area news source sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com said Friday that the cruise ship at the center of the latest controversy, The Grand Princess, was banned by Governor Gavin Newsom from docking in San Francisco and any other California port until 45 passengers and crew members suffering from flu-like symptoms were tested for the coronavirus.

Carnival Corp shares have declined 37 per cent since the onset of the coronavirus.

The ship is carrying 2,422 passengers and 1,111 crew members — and off the San Mateo County coast, heading toward the San Francisco Bay.

The San Francisco Director of the Department of Emergency Management said yesterday that 35 of those aboard had shown flu-like symptoms during the 15-day cruise.

The Centres for Disease Control is looking around for a potential docking spot, considering a number of locations including San Francisco she said.