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About 150 publicly-traded companies have warned investors of the threat COVID-19 poses, with several anticipating they’ll miss guidance in the March quarter.
The new coronavirus was first discovered in December in China. At first, several companies had to suspend their supply chains or temporarily close brick-and-mortar locations across China, in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus. A handful of companies such as Apple that rely on manufacturing and retail sales in the region initially warned the coronavirus would hurt business but indicated operations would return to normal. But then COVID-19 started spreading rapidly across the globe and fears of a global economic slowdown increased, leading to a steep market selloff.
“The backdrop right now is different,” Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial, told CNBC. “We don’t know in this pyramid of uncertainty under the coronavirus what happens to the economy, what happens to consumer spending, what happens to [capital expenditures].”
“The only thing that can change this pyramid is what we hear from the government in terms of alleviating some of the pain,” Krosby added. “You know that the Fed, Treasury Department and White House have to be focused on this to make certain the financial conditions stay healthy and solid.”
The travel sector is among the hardest hit, with JetBlue, United, American and Delta all saying they will not provide guidance for the fiscal year due to the uncertainties related to the coronavirus. Hilton Worldwide on Tuesday pulled its first quarter guidance due to the impact of the coronavirus, joining Expedia, Hyatt, Booking Holdings and Host Hotels. Cruise companies, like Royal Caribbean, have also struggled, as customers continue to reschedule or cancel their upcoming trips. In an attempt to relieve that pressure, President Donald Trump said this week that the United States will work with airlines and cruise companies in response to the outbreak.
Retailers and restaurants have also warned on missed revenue due to the virus. Anheuser-Busch InBev and Starbucks have both said they’ve lost out on $285 million and as much as $430 million, respectively, in Chinese revenue. Clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch expects as much as $50 million in lost sales during its fiscal first quarter, while Macy’s said the virus could impact the department store chain. Urban Outfitters on Wednesday pulled its first quarter guidance due to a decline in store traffic.
“We think it’s reasonable to expect industry-wide delays in terms of delivery around the world — including potentially missed shipment[s] and service windows,” Under Armour CEO Patrik Frisk told analysts in early February.
As of Wednesday morning, the rapidly-spreading coronavirus has infected more than 119,476 globally and killed at least 4,291, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. In the United States alone, at least 1,039 people have been confirmed to have contracted the flu-like virus and at least 29 have died.
CNBC has compiled the following list of companies that have warned of performance effects or updated guidance due to COVID-19 so far:
Abercrombie & Fitch
Advance Auto Parts
Church & Dwight
Delta Air Lines
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Illinois Tool Works
Las Vegas Sands
New York Times
Procter & Gamble
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