Yahoo Finance Live examines Norwegian Cruise's stock as it announces pre-pandemic occupancy goals for 2023.
SEANA SMITH: All right, my play today is Norwegian. The trending ticker is focus-- is forecasting a loss and revenue below estimates for the current quarter and warning that it doesn't expect to reach pre-pandemic occupancy levels until the second quarter of next year. CFO Mark Kempa warning on the earnings call that the second half of the year is going to be, quote, "lumpy," given where load factors are expected to be and operating expenses increasing fourfold in the second quarter.
This was driven by a higher labor cost and also higher fuel costs. Now, in the face of these headwinds, Norwegian is doing all it can to boost demand, announcing this week that it is ending its vaccination requirements, also loosening testing rules, COVID testing rules starting next month.
Dave, you and I have talked a number of times about the fact that these cruise lines are doing all they can in order to attract travelers once again. I think people are still apprehensive, obviously, given the case rates that we've seen over the last, what, month and a half or so. I think every time we think we've turned the corner, we see another wave. And obviously, very worrisome here and problematic for a lot of these bigger cruise lines.
DAVE BRIGGS: And it's a package deal with the cruise lines, the big three, at least, because you see Carnival and Royal Caribbean also down 6%, 7% on this news. My question is why? We are back at concerts in full, en masse, selling out. Sporting events back in full, en masse, packed together. Even indoor sporting events and indoor concerts. What is it about the cruise industry that still has that-- now I've never been on one, so I'm not that market. Have you been on one?
SEANA SMITH: I've been on one.
DAVE BRIGGS: Are you fearful of returning?
SEANA SMITH: I only went on one. I was with my grandmother while I was in college. I wouldn't really say--
DAVE BRIGGS: OK, so that's--
SEANA SMITH: --I know much about it.
DAVE BRIGGS: You're not the demo.
SEANA SMITH: Yeah, I don't think I'm the target audience, at least for right now. I think they're great. I would probably go on one later in life, but not right now.
DAVE BRIGGS: I will tell you, I was on all three websites when I cited this story. All three on sale between 30% and 40%, unfortunately, just like their share price. So this is the time.