Norwegian Cruise Line posts mixed results ahead of first U.S. voyage since last year

Norwegian Cruise Line posts mixed results ahead of first U.S. voyage since last year

The Norwegian Dawn cruise ship arriving in the French Mediterranean port of Marseille, July 27, 2021.

Gerard Bottino | SOPA Images | LightRocket | Getty Images

Norwegian Cruise Line reported mixed second-quarter results on Friday as future bookings remained strong ahead of its first cruise in the U.S. since last year.

On Saturday, the Norwegian Encore will sail from Seattle to Alaska. The cruise operator said it plans to have 40% of its fleet capacity up and running by the end of the third quarter, and 75% by the end of the year. The company plans to resume at full capacity by April 1.

It will be requiring all passengers to be vaccinated across its three brands.

“We are ready and eager to welcome guests back onboard and continue to see incredible strength in our booking trends for future cruises,” said President and CEO Frank Del Rio.

Shares of the company were up 2.94% on Friday, closing at $24.89.

Here’s how the company did for its second quarter ended June 30 compared with what analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were anticipating:

  • Loss per share: $1.93 adjusted vs. $1.97 expected
  • Revenue: $4.37 million vs. $10 million expected

For the second quarter, the company reported a net loss of $717.8 million, or $1.94 per share, compared with a loss of $715.2 million, or $2.99 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company lost $1.93 per share, which was narrower loss than the $1.97 per share loss expected by analysts surveyed by Refinitiv.

Revenue fell to $4.37 million, far short of the $10 million analysts had expected.

However, the company said bookings for 2022 are meaningfully ahead of record 2019 levels, taking into account future cruise credits.

As of the end of the second quarter, the cruise operator had $1.4 billion worth of advance ticket sales, $800 million of which was from future cruise credits.

As it prepared to return to service, the company had a monthly average cash burn of $200 million during the quarter, higher than the previous quarter’s rate and the prior guidance of $190 million. The company expects its monthly cash burn rate in the third quarter to be $285 million, not taking into account cash inflow from new and existing bookings.

The company said it expects to report a net loss in the third quarter and beyond until it is able to resume regular voyages.

“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, … the Company cannot estimate the impact on its business, financial condition or near- or longer-term financial or operational results with certainty,” Norwegian Cruise Line said in a release.

Shares of Norwegian Cruise Line have fallen nearly 5% this year, as the cruise industry remained shut down due to Covid-19.

At the height of the pandemic, there were several high-profile outbreaks aboard ships that prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to impose harsh restrictions on cruise operators.

Earlier this year, as vaccinations provided hope of an industry rebound, cruise stocks were rising, but the spread of the highly contagious delta variant in recent weeks has reversed the stock’s trend.

Last month, Norwegian Cruise Line filed a lawsuit against the Florida surgeon general to put an end to the state’s law barring businesses from being able to require customers to show proof of vaccination. In the court filing, the company said it would like to require guests to show proof of vaccinations on all of its cruises.

The company’s first planned sailing from Florida is on Aug. 15, which Norwegian said will be a 100% vaccinated cruise.

“The Company has been unable to reach a mutually agreeable solution with the State of Florida that would allow it to require documentation confirming guests’ vaccination status prior to boarding cruises from Florida,” Norwegian said in a release. “[At Friday’s hearing,] the Company hopes to receive additional clarity shortly on its path forward to resume sailing from Florida.”