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J.P. Morgan: 2 Cruise Line Stocks to Bet on (And 1 to Avoid)

The coronavirus pandemic crisis shows no signs of abating, even with a vaccine coming on to the markets. We’re still facing severe social lockdown policies, with a number of states (such as California, Minnesota, and Michigan) forcing even harsher restrictions on this round than previously.It’s a heavy blow for the leisure industry that is still reeling from one of the most difficult years in memory. The difficulties faced by restaurants are getting more press, but for the cruise industry, corona has been a perfect storm.Prior to the pandemic, the cruise industry – which had been doing $150 billion worth of business annually – was expected to carry 32 million passengers in 2020. That’s all gone now. During the summer, the industry reeled when over 3,000 COVID cases were linked to 123 separate cruise ships, and resulted in 34 deaths. After such a difficult year, it’s useful to step back and take a snapshot of the industry’s condition. JPMorgan analyst Brandt Montour has done just that, in a comprehensive review of the cruise industry generally and three cruise line giants in particular.”We believe cruise shares can continue to grind higher in the near term, driven overwhelmingly by the broader vaccine backdrop/progress. Looking out further, operators will face plenty of headwinds when restarting/ramping operations in 2Q3Q21, but significant sequential improvement of revenues/cash flows over that period will likely dominate the narrative, and we believe investors will continue to look through short-term setbacks to a 2022 characterized by fully ramped capacity, near-full occupancies, and so far manageable pricing pressure,” Montour opined.Against this backdrop, Montour has picked out two stocks that are worth the risk, and one that investors should avoid for now. Using TipRanks’ Stock Comparison tool, we lined

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