Cruise Stocks Expect Tailwind Profits As Credit Card Travel Spending Runs Hot This Summer

Zinger Key Points
  • Consumer spending on cruise lines has been rising faster than other travel categories, like airlines and lodging.
  • Shares of Carnival Corporation and Norwegian Cruise Line are still trading around 75-80% lower than their pre-Covid levels.

Carnival Corp. CCL, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. NCLH, and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. RCL stand to benefit from an increase in spending in the coming months.

The trend should help these companies offset the losses they inherited from the Covid-19 outbreak.

See Also: Analyst Ratings For Carnival; Analyst Ratings for Norwegian Cruise Lines

What Happened: Credit card spending for cruise vacations has been on the upswing in recent months, according to Bank of America. That's in contrast to the demand for other travel categories that experienced a quicker post-pandemic recovery. Accommodations, for example, have already peaked.

Cruises had the biggest year-over-year and four-year increases in credit card spending in April, at 22% and 36%, respectively.

Spending momentum on cruises is also running hot. The six-month increase from October 2022 to April 2023 was 13%, as compared to a modest 2% increase in airlines and a 2% drop in lodging. 

Altogether, cruises received 6.1% of total travel spending this year, beating the pre-pandemic share of 5.8% in 2019.

With summer just around the corner, the following quarters could see cruise lines surprise expectations in terms of revenues and earnings.

Why It Matters: Cruise-line stocks need a boost. They're still trading 40% to 80% lower than they were in early 2020 — right before the Covid-19 outbreak began.

The figure below shows the percentage change in cruise-line stocks since January 2020.

Royal Caribbean Cruises and Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc. LIND have recouped nearly half of their post-Covid-19 losses. However, more indebted cruise lines such as Carnival Corporation and Norwegian Cruise Line are still not far from the lows reached in March 2020 when lockdown measures were put in place.

The Defiance Hotel, Airline, and Cruise ETF CRUZ gives investors exposure to a wide range of companies operating in the travel industry.  

Next: Cruise Lines See Smoother Seas On Horizon As Profitability Returns

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: Long IdeasNewsTravelSmall CapEconomicsMarketsTrading IdeasGeneralcarnival cruiseExpert Ideasnorwegian cruise linesRoyal Carribbean
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!