Morgan Stanley analyst Jamie Rollo said following his meetings with senior management of Carnival (CCL), Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) and Royal Caribbean (RCL) that the management teams of both of the latter two cruise line operators expressed surprise at the weak outlook cited by Carnival last week. Apart from a short-term impact from hurricane Dorian, neither Royal nor Norwegian said they have seen a demand slowdown and Norwegian additionally said it has not seen a softening of its onboard revenue, which it considers to be the best real time indicator of consumer health, reported Rollo, who said both of the companies "still sound upbeat." Rollo has Equal Weight ratings on Carnival and Royal Caribbean and an Overweight rating on shares of Norwegian.
Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Woronka downgraded Royal Caribbean (RCL) to Hold from Buy with a price target of $80, down from $143, and cut his rating on Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) to Hold from Buy with a price target of $36, down from $63, stating that he "cannot realistically recommend buying them" given the many unknowns facing the cruise lines. While the multi-year earnings risk is becoming a greater threat for the group, if he owned the stocks already, he "would not sell them [...] and also would not short them," but he wouldn't be a buyer at this time, Woronka tells investors. He also maintains a Hold rating on shares of Carnival (CCL).