Carnival credit rating in danger of falling deeper into ‘junk’ territory at Moody’s

Carnival Corp.’s
credit rating has been placed Wednesday on “review for downgrade” at Moody’s Investors Service, citing concerns over the outlook for the resumption of the cruise operator’s operations. Carnival credit is currently rated by Moody’s at B1, which is four notches deep into speculative-grade, or “junk,” territory. “The review for downgrade will focus on the timeline for Carnival to return to service, the potential to ramp up operations in a meaningful way in 2021 and the resulting impact to its liquidity,” said Moody’s analyst Pete Trombetta. He said that while an economic recovery is underway, “it is tenuous” and closely tied to the containment of the COVID-19 virus. Therefore, the degree of uncertainty around his forecasts is unusually high. Carnival rival Royal Caribbean Group’s
credit is also rated B1 at Moody’s. Carnival’s stock rose 2.6% in morning trading, while Royal Caribbean shares gained 2.0% and the S&P 500
tacked on 0.4%.

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