NCLH Reports Strong Q4 But 2020 Picture Clouded

Cruise Week

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings reported strong Q4 earnings this week, but the outlook for 2020 has been clouded by the coronavirus outbreak.

In its report, NCLH said, "The company entered the year with a record booked position and at higher pricing. Despite the current known impact from the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, as of the week ending 14FEB, 2020, the company’s booked position remained ahead of prior year and at higher prices on a comparable basis, which excludes cruises to Cuba in the prior year and the recent redeployment of Norwegian Spirit from Asia in the current year."

The company forecast a guidance range of 2-3% net yields ex-coronavirus.

NCLH said, "The current known direct impact to operations from COVID-19 is expected to be approximately $0.75 per share and primarily includes customer incentive compensation and 40 cancelled, modified or redeployed Asia voyages across the company’s three brands.

"This includes the close-in redeployment of 21 cancelled Asia voyages on Norwegian Spirit which have been redeployed to the Eastern Mediterranean for summer 2020 with an extremely condensed booking window."

However, SunTrust financial analyst Patrick Scholes said, "In our view, what is still not known is what if any will be the bleed-through to North American sailings. Recent media headlines certainly present a head-wind to new bookings even outside of Asia/Pacific.”

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