Top Cruise Line Stocks for Q3 2022

LIND is top for value and performance and NCLH is top for growth

The cruise line industry is part of the broader travel and tourism industry, focused primarily on providing sea-based vacation experiences. Companies in the industry own and operate cruise ships in various destinations worldwide, offering a variety of itineraries and themed cruises. They also may provide other travel and vacation services. The big cruise line companies include Carnival Corp. and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

The cruise line industry has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, related travel restrictions, and other social-distancing measures. Many cruise operators ceased ship operations for many months throughout the early portion of the pandemic. Now many cruise lines have resumed the majority of their operations. However, additional issues hamper the industry: cruise companies have struggled to hire back employees, which has led to cancellations and reduced on-board amenities.

All pure-play cruise line stocks available to U.S. investors are underperforming the broader market, having provided total returns below the -14.3% total return of the Russell 1000 Index over the past 12 months. There is no specific benchmark index for the cruise industry. The market performance number above and all statistics in the tables below are as of June 17, 2022. Below, we look at the top three cruise line stocks with the best value, fastest growth, and best performance.

There are just four pure-play cruise line companies easily available to U.S. investors, but we look at them in our usual style. Because the entire industry has suffered losses in recent quarters, the value section below will be based on price-to-sales ratio rather than the usual price-to-earnings ratio (P/E Ratio). Also, the revenue growth rates in the growth section further below are abnormally high because revenue in the most recent quarter is being compared to extremely low baseline levels in the year-ago quarter as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Even relatively small absolute value changes in revenue have resulted in enormous percentage changes.

Best Value Cruise Line Stocks

These are the cruise line stocks with the lowest 12-month trailing price-to-sales (P/S) ratio. For companies in early stages of development or industries suffering from major shocks, this can be substituted as a rough measure of a business's value. A business with higher sales could eventually produce more profit when it achieves (or returns to) profitability. The price-to-sales ratio shows how much you're paying for the stock for each dollar of sales generated.

Best Value Cruise Line Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing P/S Ratio
Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc. (LIND) 9.53 0.5 2.3
Carnival Corp. (CCL) 8.75 10.3 2.8
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) 10.38 4.4 3.4

Source: YCharts

  • Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc.: Lindblad Expeditions owns and operates cruise ships and provides expedition cruising and travel services. The company offers both sea-based and land-based expeditions. On May 31, the company reported the appointment of Noah Brodsky as chief commercial officer, effective immediately. In this role, Brodsky will oversee all revenue production as well as marketing, sales, digital product development, and strategic partnerships. Brodsky has previously served in executive leadership positions at Travel + Leisure Co. and Wyndham Destinations.
  • Carnival Corp.: Carnival operates the world’s largest fleet of cruise ships. The company also owns travel-related properties such as hotels and vacation destinations throughout the world. Carnival reported earnings results for Q1 FY 2022, ended Feb. 28, on March 22. Net losses narrowed slightly as revenue growth surged year-over-year (YOY). Occupancy improved substantially in spite of the ongoing impact of the Omicron variant. Carnival will report Q2 2022 earnings on June 24, 2022.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.: Norwegian Cruise Line operates a fleet of passenger cruise ships. The company offers itineraries and theme cruises. The company reported Q1 2022 earnings on May 10. Net losses narrowed YOY on skyrocketing revenue as the number of cruise voyages increased. Norwegian also said that, as of early May, all of the ships in its fleet had resumed sailing following months of COVID-related shutdowns.

Fastest Growing Cruise Line Stocks

These are the cruise line stocks with the highest year-over-year (YOY) sales growth for the most recent quarter. Rising sales can help investors to identify companies that are able to grow revenue organically or through other means and to find growing companies that have not yet reached profitability. In addition, accounting factors that may not reflect the overall strength of the business can significantly influence earnings per share (EPS). However, sales growth can also prove potentially misleading about the strength of a business because growing sales on money-losing businesses can be harmful if the company has no plan to reach profitability.

Fastest Growing Cruise Line Stocks
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) Sales Growth (%)
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) 10.38 4.4 16,740
Carnival Corp. (CCL) 8.75 10.3 6,140
Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc. (LIND) 9.53 0.5 3,710

Source: YCharts

  • Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.: See above for company description.
  • Carnival Corp.: See above for company description.
  • Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc.: See above for company description.

Cruise Line Stocks With the Best Performance

These are the cruise line stocks that had the smallest declines in total return over the past 12 months out of the companies we looked at.

Cruise Line Stocks With the Best Performance
  Price ($) Market Cap ($B) 12-Month Trailing Total Return (%)
Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc. (LIND) 9.53 0.5 -42.5
Royal Caribbean Group (RCL) 35.16 9.0 -60.3
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH) 10.38 4.4 -67.2
Russell 1000 N/A N/A -14.3

Source: YCharts

  • Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc.: See above for company description.
  • Royal Caribbean Group: Royal Caribbean Group, formerly known as Royal Caribbean Cruises, operates a fleet of vessels in the cruise vacation industry. Royal Caribbean reported Q1 2022 results on May 5. Net losses widened slightly as revenue surged dramatically YOY. The continuing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, in contrast with strong demand for cruising, were factors impacting net losses and revenue growth, respectively.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.: See above for company description.

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Article Sources
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  1. Business Insider. "Cruise lines are canceling sailings, closing onboard restaurants, and allowing fewer guests onboard amid hiring difficulties."

  2. YCharts. "Financial Data."

  3. Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc. "LINDBLAD EXPEDITIONS HOLDINGS, INC. APPOINTS NOAH BRODSKY AS CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER."

  4. Carnival Corp. "CARNIVAL CORPORATION & PLC PROVIDES FIRST QUARTER 2022 BUSINESS UPDATE."

  5. Carnival Corp. "CARNIVAL CORPORATION & PLC TO PROVIDE SECOND QUARTER 2022 BUSINESS UPDATE."

  6. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. "Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Reports First Quarter 2022 Financial Results and Provides Business Update."

  7. Royal Caribbean Group. "ROYAL CARIBBEAN GROUP REPORTS FIRST QUARTER 2022 RESULTS AND PROVIDES A BUSINESS UPDATE."

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