Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH - Free Report) performed very well in the second quarter of 2018, reporting better-than-expected earnings per share and revenues. The company’s earnings (excluding 20 cents from non-recurring items) of $1.21 per share outpaced the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.03. The bottom line also increased 18.6% on a year-over-year basis. Higher revenues aided the quarterly results.
Revenues came in at $1,522.2 million, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,506.7 million and improved 13.3% on a year-over-year basis. The upside was aided by a 14.8% increase in passenger ticket revenues to $1,077 million. The same from onboard and other sources was up 9.6% on a year-over-year basis to $445.12 million. Gross yield (total revenue per Capacity Day) increased 4.3% in the quarter on a year-over-year basis.
Net yield grew 4% on a constant-currency basis. The measure was up 4.7% on a reported basis. Fuel price per metric ton (net of hedges) increased 2.6% to $481 in the reported quarter. Total cruise operating expenses were up 14.7% to $822.78 million, courtesy of the 8.6% increase in Capacity Days.
Marketing, general and administrative expenses also increased year over year to $226.54 million. Gross Cruise Costs (sum of cruise operating expenses and marketing, general and administrative cost) per Capacity Day increased 6% in the second quarter due to higher expenses on maintenance and repairs among other. The company has repurchased shares worth more than $450 million in the first half of the year. We are impressed by the company's efforts to reward shareholders.
Notably, another cruise line operator — Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL - Free Report) — had also reported had also reported better-than-expected second quarter earnings per share in August.
Norwegian Cruise Line expects earnings per share (excluding special items) of approximately $2.20 in the third quarter of 2018. The Zacks Consensus Estimate currently stands at $2.28 per share.
For 2018, the company anticipates earnings per share (excluding special items) in the band of $4.70-$4.80 (earlier guidance: $4.55-$4.70). The Zacks Consensus Estimate of 4.67 per share is below the company’s guided range.
Fuel price per metric ton, net of hedges, is projected at $505 for the third-quarter and 2018.
Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider
Norwegian Cruise Line has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Better-ranked stocks in the broader Consumer Discretionary sector are Guess?, Inc. (GES - Free Report) and SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (SEAS - Free Report) carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Shares of Guess? and SeaWorld Entertainment have gained 62.6% and 98.3%, respectively, in a year’s time.
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