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JPMorgan: NCLH Top Cruise Stock

Norwegian Prima

JPMorgan has named Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings its top pick among the cruise line stocks, according to an investor note sent out on Tuesday morning.

The bank said that it prefers Norwegian to Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean Group as the latter two, in particular Royal Caribbean, are “as more vulnerable to near-term ebbs and flows of financial market conditions given the magnitude and timing of future capital commitments (new ship orders, principal payments on maturing debt).”

JPMorgan, citing its own proprietary pricing data system, said Norwegian should see higher ticket prices through at least 2023 when compared to 2019 levels. Carnival Cruise Line should see stable pricing and JPMorgan noted possible declines for Royal Caribbean.

“Our positive outlook for NCLH reflects the company’s (1) disciplined market-to-fill (as opposed to discount-to-fill) pricing strategy; (2) outsized growth potential versus peers, as NCLH has a smaller, nimbler, and younger fleet with premium pricing; and (3) attractive relative valuation — particularly using estimates two or more years out.”

In addition, JPMorgan said NCLH has “the most forward pricing momentum of the three publicly-traded players, and Norwegian’s latest addition, the Prima, appears to be garnering the biggest premium relative to its existing fleet.”


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