The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that was first identified in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, has topped 45,000, but the number of newly reported cases grew at a slower rate for the second day in a row.
There are now 45,171 confirmed cases in 25 countries and at least 1,115 deaths, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization. Only one death has been reported outside of China, in the Philippines. In the U.S., there are 13 confirmed cases, with the most recent case identified in San Diego, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, analysts have cautioned against reading too literally into the slowdown in infection rates, in part over reports that there are backlogs in testing in China. “Current wave of infections looks to have crested last week,” Cowen analysts wrote in Wednesday’s note. “As new outbreaks usually appear in waves, the key question becomes whether the next wave will be bigger or smaller.”
Later, on Wednesday, the WHO is expected to share the findings from a two-day forum that aims to set out a global research agenda for COVID-19.
Here’s what companies are saying about COVID-19:
• Carnival Corp. CCL, +2.64% said Wednesday there could be a fiscal 2020 earnings-per-share impact of 55 cents to 65 cents if all operations are suspended in Asia through the end of April. That situation hasn’t come to pass, but Carnival says there will be a material impact on the business due to suspended cruises in Chinese ports, cancellations in other parts of Asia, and the impact on bookings, which the company said is determined by the length of time that an event influences travel. Carnival’s Holland America Line confirmed Wednesday that the Westerdam, which has 1,455 passengers and 802 crew members, is expected to dock in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, on Thursday. The ship, which was scheduled to disembark Saturday in Yokohama, Japan, had been turned away from four other countries over virus concerns, according to Reuters. A company spokesperson said there are no suspected cases of the virus on board. Another cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, that docked in Yokohama earlier this month has reported upward of 175 infections from COVID-19.
• PVH Corp. PVH, +5.40%, which markets the Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger brands, said that 20% of its global sourcing comes from greater China, which also made up 7% of its 2019 revenue. Most PVH-owned stores in China remain closed. Still, the company reaffirmed its adjusted earnings per share guidance of $1.79 for the fourth quarter and at least $9.45 for the full year.
• Hasbro Inc. HAS, -1.53% continues “to have office and third-party factory closures” in China as a result of the outbreak. The company said that about two-thirds of its global sourcing comes from China. “The biggest unknown right now is how quickly the manufacturing factories can get their production ramp back up,” Hasbro CFO Deborah Thomas told investors on a Tuesday earnings call. “Travel is limited, places are still closed.”
• Visa Inc. V, +0.69% told investors that it is too early to tell how the outbreak will impact the company. “If planes are not flying in and out of China, if hotels are not being filled, which they’re not at the moment, and if the supply chains are being impacted, which I suspect they are, there’s going to be some impact,” a Visa executive said Tuesday at an investor day. “It’s just going to depend on how long this goes on.”
Here’s how global events are being impacted:
• Formula One has postponed the Formula One Heineken Chinese Grand Prix 2020, which was scheduled to take place April 19, over virus concerns. “All parties will take the appropriate amount of time to study the viability of potential alternative dates for the Grand Prix later in the year should the situation improve,” the company said in a statement.
• The Mobile World Congress, scheduled to begin Feb. 24 in Barcelona, has also seen a number of high-profile companies withdraw from the event, which last year hosted an estimated 110,000 attendees. Amazon.com Inc. AMZ, +0.22%, Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO, +1.89%, and Facebook Inc. FB, +0.61%, among others, have said they would not attend over concerns about COVID-19. Spanish media outlets have reported that the event’s organizers will meet Friday to decide whether to hold the conference.
Additional reporting by Tonya Garcia and Barbara Kollmeyer
Read more of MarketWatch’s COVID-19 coverage: