COVID-19 Uncertainty in Earnings Releases
By George Wilson
As we get closer to second quarter 2020 reporting, addressing the impact of COVID-19 in earnings releases will be a top-of-mind issue. The impact will, of course, differ from company to company. Here is one example from Carnival Corporation. Carnival’s fiscal year ends on November 30, so their fiscal second quarter ended on May 31, 2020. Carnival released earnings on June 18, 2020, providing an early example of how COVID-19 can be reflected in earnings releases.
In their earnings release Carnival was very direct about how COVID-19 has affected their business:
SECOND QUARTER 2020 SUMMARY PRELIMINARY INFORMATION
- U.S. GAAP net loss of $(4.4) billion, or $(6.07) diluted EPS, for the second quarter of 2020, which includes $2.0 billion of non-cash impairment charges.
- Second quarter 2020 adjusted net loss of $(2.4) billion, or $(3.30) adjusted EPS.
- Total revenues for the second quarter of 2020 were $0.7 billion, lower than $4.8 billion in the prior year.
- The company's guest cruise operations have been in a pause for a majority of the second quarter. In addition, the company is unable to definitively predict when it will return to normal operations. As a result, the company is currently unable to provide an earnings forecast. The pause in guest operations is continuing to have material negative impacts on all aspects of the company's business. The longer the pause in guest operations continues the greater the impact on the company’s liquidity and financial position. The company expects a net loss on both a U.S. GAAP and adjusted basis for the second half of 2020.
- Cash burn rate in the second quarter 2020 was generally in line with the previously disclosed expectation.
- Second quarter 2020 ended with $7.6 billion of available liquidity, and the company expects to further enhance future liquidity, including through refinancing scheduled debt maturities. In addition, the company has $8.8 billion of committed export credit facilities that are available to fund ship deliveries originally planned through 2023.
- Total customer deposits balance at May 31, 2020 was $2.9 billion, including $475 million related to cruises during the second half of 2020.
You can read the rest of the details in Carnival’s earnings release here. As you can see, the company did not pull any punches.
As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome!