The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed share prices on some stocks much higher so far in 2020, while others have been hammered by the impact the pandemic has had on consumers. In fact, consumers trying to avoid the coronavirus almost certainly have been responsible for the biggest moves in share prices this year.
On the plus side, FedEx (up nearly 95% to date in 2020), Amazon (up more than 75%), UPS (up about 53%), Target (up more than 36%) and Walmart (up almost 25%) have benefited from consumers ordering more online and having it delivered.
Conversely, the industries hit hardest by the pandemic have been cruise lines and oil and gas. Airlines, which also have been hit hard by lack of travelers, were cushioned from some of the pandemic’s effects by some $17 billion in federal aid. Another hard-hit sector has been real estate, especially commercial real estate.
Of the 20 S&P 500 companies hit hardest by the pandemic, 12 are energy-related, three are cruise line operators, two are real estate investment trusts (Vornado and Simon), two are airlines (United and American) and one a bank (Wells Fargo) and one IT company (DXC Technology).
On Wednesday we had a look at the year’s biggest loser, Carnival Corp. & PLC (NYSE: CCL), which has traded down nearly 60% for the year to date. The outlook for next year is dimmed by no-sail orders and continuing cash burns that are running around $530 million per month at Carnival.
Here’s a look at the other four big losers so far in 2020.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ: NCLH) is the second-worst performing S&P 500 stock for 2020. Shares have dropped about 56% since January, after recovering from a plunge of more than 85% in mid-March. Everything we said about Carnival also applies to Norwegian except the company’s cash burn rate is $175 million a month. While sharply lower than Carnival’s burn rate, Norwegian’s cash burn is the highest among the three large cruise operators on a per ship basis.
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