Norwegian Bookings Rise as People Still Want to Cruise

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Would you want to go on a cruise right now? 

Apparently a lot of people do, at least once the coronavirus pandemic blows over and cruise ships head back out into open waters.

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) - Get Report on Thursday posted a significantly wider-than-expected first-quarter loss as the coronavirus pandemic upended the cruise-line industry, though noted that future bookings remain strong.

The Miami-based company reported an adjusted loss of $211.3 million, or 99 cents a share, compared to net income of $181.8 million, or 83 cents, in the comparable year-earlier period. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting a loss of 28 cents a share.

Including $1.7 billion in expense-related adjustments, the cruise line operator lost $1.9 billion, or $8.80 a share in the three months ended March 31. Revenue came in at $1.25 billion vs. $1.4 billion a year ago.

On the positive side, however, “There continues to be demand for cruise vacations, particularly beginning in the fourth quarter 2020 accelerating through 2021, with the company’s overall booked position and pricing for 2021 within historical ranges,” it said.

The company had $1.8 billion of advanced ticket sales as of March 31.

Meantime, Norwegian continues to beef up its balance sheet to weather the storm, adding $2 billion-plus in cash to its coffers from a recent debt offering.

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