Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) rises on better-than-expected Q1 EPS guidance

February 27, 2024 7:49 AM EST

Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE: NCLH) reported a significant revenue beat for the fourth quarter, with figures reaching $1.99 billion against the analysts' consensus of $1.97 billion. Despite a loss per share of -$0.18, which was $0.06 below the analyst estimate of -$0.12, the company's stock price soared by 6% due to a robust first-quarter earnings guidance that surpassed expectations.

The company's fourth-quarter performance, which marked a 32% increase in revenue compared to the same period in 2019, was accompanied by an optimistic outlook for the first quarter of 2024. Norwegian Cruise Line anticipates adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.12, notably higher than the consensus estimate of -$0.20. This guidance contributed to the positive investor sentiment, as reflected in the stock's upward movement.

For the full year 2024, the company forecasts an adjusted EPS of $1.23, aligning with the consensus estimate. The company's president and CEO, Harry Sommer, highlighted the year's achievements, including the delivery of three new ships and a record high booked position and pricing for 2024 voyages. Sommer emphasized the company's commitment to innovation and exceptional guest experiences, which are expected to drive performance in the upcoming year.

The cruise operator also reported a return to full-year profitability for the first time since 2019, with a GAAP net income of $166.2 million, or $0.39 per share. Adjusted EBITDA stood at $1.861 billion, meeting the guidance of $1.860 billion, despite a $0.07 negative impact from foreign currency fluctuations. The company's focus on cost reduction and efficiencies, along with a margin enhancement initiative, contributed to reduced operating costs and four consecutive quarters of YoY improvement in adjusted net cruise costs excluding fuel per capacity day.

Occupancy rates for the year reached 102.9%, in line with the guidance of 102.6%, and total revenue per passenger cruise day increased by approximately 17% compared to 2019. In addition to financial growth, Norwegian Cruise Line announced a revamped climate action strategy with interim greenhouse gas intensity reduction targets, demonstrating its commitment to sustainability.

As the cruise industry continues to recover from the challenges of the pandemic, Norwegian Cruise Line's strong performance and forward-looking guidance indicate a positive trajectory for the company and its stakeholders.

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