Norwegian Cruise Line: There Is Light at the COVID Tunnel, Says 5-Star Analyst

5 Jun by Vitaliy Dadalyan

Norwegian Cruise Line: There Is Light at the COVID Tunnel, Says 5-Star Analyst

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Norwegian Cruise Line: There Is Light at the COVID Tunnel, Says 5-Star AnalystRemaining afloat has become more than just a scientific feat for the beleaguered cruise industry. It has, figuratively, been the first port of call for cruise line operators during the pandemic. The global grounding of the entire industry has raised questions whether cruise lines can make it through the COVID-19 storm.For Tigress Financial’s Ivan Feinseth, one company to certainly sail through to the other side will be Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH). The 5-star analyst anticipates NCLH will “overcome COVID-19 pandemic headwinds and emerge a stronger, and even better-positioned industry leader.” Feinseth has a list of reasons to back up his claim.Although currently waiting to resume operations, booking demand for 2021 remains strong, with pricing trends “remaining within historical ranges.”55% of those booked on cancelled sailings have already rebooked or are favoring future cruise credits rather than cash returns. Those requesting cash back have also indicated a willingness to rebook when conditions become clearer.Norwegian has also been taking “significant steps to enhance passenger safety,” implementing fleetwide safety programs including “state-of-the-art safety protocols,” with a range of measures in place to ensure safe sailing.Ensuring the balance sheet remains healthy, too, has resulted in a number of shrewd capital raising moves. Norwegian was swift to act as the pandemic hit, taking on a further $675 million line of credit, and drawing down on a mix of credit lines to the tune of $1.5 billion. The company estimates it has enough cash on hand to withstand more than 18 months of total non-cruise activity, which appears an unlikely scenario. The cruise line hopes to be riding the waves by Q4, and at worst by Q1 2021.Summing up, Feinseth said, “While the travel industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic with the cruise industry suffering the most, we believe the cruise industry and NCLH are both extremely resilient and will see a tremendous ramp up in business once its ships return to service. NCLH currently operates the youngest, most feature-rich, technologically advanced, and fuel-efficient ships, enabling it to earn a greater Return on Capital on its new ship investments as newer ships have greater demand at higher price points.”Accordingly, Feinseth has a Strong Buy rating for NCLH, though has no set price target in mind. (To watch Feinseth’s track record, click here)Overall, the Street wind is blowing mixed signals Norwegian’s way. The stock holds a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on 8 Buy ratings, 6 Holds and 1 Sell. Yet, the stock price forecast of $16.17 indicates analysts, on average, expect shares to drop by 28% over the coming months. (See NCLH stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.