Cruise operator Carnival has been hammered in the past year as the pandemic has left its ships idle. The group grew to an operating loss of $ 8.9 billion (£ 6.4 billion) in 2020, and also reported an operating loss of $ 1.5 billion in the three months preceding February 28, 2021.
Sitting down has proven to be a costly endeavor – Carnival’s average monthly cash consumption was $ 500 million in the first quarter of this year, and that is expected to rise to $ 600 million for the May quarter.
In order to keep its head above water, the group has been forced to raise $ 23.6 billion through debt and dilutive equity offers since the start of this crisis. With $ 11.5 billion in cash and short-term investments on hand, he says he now has enough cash for at least next year.
Against this backdrop, non-executive director Randall Weisenburger recently sold more than $ 17.5 million in stock on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) – where Carnival is double listed – reducing its stake by 46%. He unloaded the shares in three main tranches at prices above $ 27, which is slightly above Carnival’s current US stock price of $ 26.
No reason has been given for this significant divestiture, and it marks a complete turnaround from just over a year ago, when Weisenburger took advantage of Carnival’s Corona Crisis and bought for $ 10million. dollars of shares at a floor price of $ 8 each.
It is also at odds with the prevailing sentiment in the market. As the vaccine rollout continues, investors – including the Reddit squad – are increasingly optimistic that Carnival will soon be able to set sail. Its shares have risen by a fifth so far this year in London and more than a quarter in New York, although they remain below pre-pandemic levels.
Six of Carnival’s nine brands are expected to resume cruising operations on a limited basis by the summer, with cumulative advance bookings for next year being ahead of pre-crisis levels, it suggests. that there is a pent-up demand.
But the all-important North American market remains stagnant as restrictions imposed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mean that shipping from U.S. ports is effectively banned until November.
Nonetheless, demand for cruises will eventually rebound – although likely at a slower pace than air travel – and Carnival is the world‘s largest cruise line operator. While it sits on skyrocketing $ 21 billion in net debt, it may be worth holding stocks at 1,531 pence to weather the momentum of pandemic recovery. Move to hold.
As Covid-19 spread from region to region last spring, production studios closed and TV advertisers began cutting budgets in the face of unquantifiable economic chaos.
For ITV, the media giant of the FTSE 100, the end result was a “difficult” year. The group revealed last month that sales slipped 15.9% to £ 2.8bn for the 12 months ending Dec.31, while operating profits fell by a third to 325 million pounds sterling.
In turn, the group has reinforced the strict measures it had taken in 2020 in view of the current year. It expects to achieve around £ 100million in annualized cost savings between 2019 and 2022, compared to previous estimates of £ 55-60million. In 2021 alone, ITV is forecasting savings of £ 30million.
But despite the difficulties brought on by the pandemic, improvements were evident as restrictions began to ease during the summer months. This year, the group said ad revenue is expected to increase 60-75% in April, with most programs back in production.
ITV’s annual figures came out a day after the UK aired Oprah Winfrey’s interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The highly anticipated show, which is said to have grossed £ 1million on ITV, has attracted an average audience of 11million, punctuated by lucrative advertising space.
In an enlightening but still uncertain context, in which the streaming giants are only expanding their influence, obtaining these exclusive TV rights could become an increasingly vital weapon in ITV’s arsenal.
Either way, non-executive director Duncan Painter seems confident in what’s to come. He bought 82,087 shares at £ 1.21 a piece on April 12, for a total of £ 99,006. Painter was appointed in May 2018 and sits on the group’s compensation committee.