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Why Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) Stock Is Surging Today

Stocks in this article: NCLH

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) are soaring, up 15.59% to $38.50 in pre-market trade after the leading global cruise operator, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Prestige Cruises International, Inc., the market leader in the upscale cruise segment and parent company of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, in cash and stock for a total transaction consideration of $3.025 billion, including the assumption of debt.

The total transaction consideration of $3.025 billion includes the assumption of debt. Additionally, a contingent cash consideration of up to $50 million to Prestige shareholders would be payable upon achievement of certain 2015 performance metrics.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2014.

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Norwegian will finance the acquisition with existing cash, new and existing debt facilities and the issuance of approximately 20.3 million shares of its common stock.

Pursuant to the requirements of NASDAQ Rule 5635, holders of a majority of Norwegian's common stock have consented to the issuance of such shares.

TheStreet Ratings team rates NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE HLDGS as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE HLDGS (NCLH) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, attractive valuation levels and compelling growth in net income. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company has favored debt over equity in the management of its balance sheet."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 18.9%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry. The net income increased by 1362.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from -$8.84 million to $111.62 million.
  • Compared to where it was 12 months ago, the stock is up, but it has so far lagged the appreciation in the S&P 500. Looking ahead, our view is that this company's fundamentals will not have much impact in either direction, allowing the stock to generally move up or down based on the push and pull of the broad market.
  • The company's current return on equity greatly increased when compared to its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a signal of significant strength within the corporation. In comparison to the other companies in the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry and the overall market, NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE HLDGS's return on equity is significantly below that of the industry average and is below that of the S&P 500.
  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.30, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure industry. Even though the debt-to-equity ratio shows mixed results, the company's quick ratio of 0.07 is very low and demonstrates very weak liquidity.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: NCLH Ratings Report
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