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Cruise stocks rise as FDA fully clears Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine

Cruise stocks rise as FDA fully clears Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine
Business
Shares of cruise-ship operators rose on Monday after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted full clearance to the coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer (PFE) and partner BioNTech (BNTX).

The full authorization for the vaccine, for people 16 and older, follows the FDA’s move late last year to enable the New York health-care giant and its German partner to market the vaccine for emergency use.

Among the cruise operators, at last check Carnival (CCL) rose 3.7 per cent, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) rose 3.2 per cent and Royal Caribbean (RCL) rose 1.7 per cent.

Shares of Pfizer gained 2.7 per cent and BioNTech was up more than 10 per cent.

Cruise operators have said that passengers who have received their final dose of a coronavirus vaccine at least 14 days prior to sailing are eligible to travel.

Cruise lines were one of the industries hit hardest by the pandemic, with voyages stopped around the world.

But with widespread vaccinations in the U.S., the major companies have planned to resume American operations over the summer.

Of these three cruise companies, Royal Caribbean is the strongest, Jonathan Heller wrote in a Real Money column, last month. “There’s little doubt in my mind that Royal Caribbean has come out of the pandemic in the best shape of the three,” he said.

But Heller said he remained cautious as the global pandemic continues to hinder leisure travel, and these companies have increased their debt loads and diluted their shares by offering more of them to investors.
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