Israel-Hamas war is affecting financial outlooks of these companies

The ‘Rhapsody of the Seas’ cruise liner carrying US citizens leaves the Israeli port of Haifa to be evacuated to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus on October 16, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas. 

Aris Messinis | AFP | Getty Images

Some of the world’s most well-known companies are already seeing the Israel-Hamas war weighing on operations.

On Oct. 7, militant group Hamas struck Israeli towns in a surprise attack and took more than 200 hostages. More than 7,000 people have been killed in Gaza, per Palestinian health officials, while the Israeli Defense Forces said more than 1,400 have been killed in the country.

Corporations that do business or have operations in the region have already begun seeing the war change their financial outlooks as the unrest impacts everything from advertising dollars to tourism to supply chains. These early admissions come as world leaders grow increasingly concerned that the conflict will further intensify, with international calls for a cease-fire being rejected.

United Airlines said fourth-quarter performance could vary depending on the length of flight suspensions in Tel Aviv. Its updated range for adjusted earnings per share came in below analysts’ forecasts.

“We have unmatched geographic diversity with a large domestic network complemented by the largest long-haul international network, and both are solidly profitable,” CEO Scott Kirby said earlier this month. “While this is a great attribute, it does create some short-term risk and volatility as we’re seeing right now with the transitory hit to margins this quarter as a result of the tragedy in Israel.”

Travel changes

United is one of several carriers including Delta Air Lines and American Airlines that have rushed to change schedules as the conflict has unfolded. Notably, El Al, the Israeli flag carrier, said it would fly on the Jewish Sabbath for the first time in more than four decades to help bring reservists abroad back to the country.

Across the travel industry, the war is on the mind of corporate leaders. Plane-maker Boeing said in a regulatory filling that the conflict could potentially affect certain suppliers, in addition to airlines.

About 1.5% of Royal Caribbean capacity in the fourth quarter had planned to visit Israel, CEO Jason Liberty said on the cruise line’s call on Thursday. A few of the adjusted sailings that were previously expected have home ports in Haifa, a city in the northern region of the country.

The company also offered free use of its Rhapsody of the Seas vessel to the U.S. government to aid in the evacuation of Americans from Israel. Between the changed itineraries and use of the ship, the company estimated it would see an impact of 5 cents per share on its earnings. The company expects to record between $6.58 and $6.63 in adjusted earnings per share for the year.

El Al Airlines airplane flying on February 2023.

Nurphoto | Nurphoto | Getty Images

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