Norwegian Cruise Sets $15 Offering Price, As Downgrades Sweep Stock

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) has announced that it has priced its $250M offering of 16,666,667 ordinary shares at a price to the public of $15.00 per share. Shares in NCLH plunged 16% in Thursday’s trading, bringing the share price down to $15.61.

NCLH has also granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to 2,500,000 of additional ordinary shares, which must be exercised on or before August 17, 2020.

The offering is expected to close on July 21, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions. The company says it expects to use the net proceeds from the offering for general corporate purposes.

J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC, Barclays, Mizuho Securities and UBS Investment Bank are acting as joint book-running managers.

NCLH, which operates a combined fleet of 28 ships, has seen shares plunge 73% year-to-date due to the fallout from Covid-19 on the tourism industry.

However the stock maintains a cautiously optimistic Moderate Buy Street consensus, with 6 recent buy ratings, 10 hold ratings and 1 sell rating. Meanwhile the $17 average analyst price target indicates 9% upside potential lies ahead. (See NCLH analysis on TipRanks).

In the last few days both SunTrust Robinson and Macquarie have downgraded the cruise company to Hold from Buy. That brings the total analyst downgrades in the last month to four. Indeed, Macquarie’s Paul Golding downgraded the entire cruise sector, citing spiking Covid-19 cases.

“One of the many factors that makes the resumption of service complicated is the fact that cruise operators must coordinate with multiple regulatory bodies from numerous countries. We don’t anticipate that the regulations and procedures will necessarily be identical across the globe” comments Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Woronka.

He has a hold rating on NCLH and $15 price target, telling investors: “Cruises are inherently social in nature and there are legitimate questions about the quality of the experience if physical distancing is required (in addition to concerns that it might be exceedingly difficult to profitably operate an itinerary that is capacity constrained).”

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