Among the sectors increasingly in focus by investors, cruise stocks are being targeted as key growth plays right now. Shares of Carnival Cruise Lines (NYSE:CCL), Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL) and Norwegian Cruise Lines (NYSE:NCLH) are all up between 3% and 5% today.
This sort of sector-specific move is one investors can expect when positive news is announced by one specific company. However, there are a couple of key news releases today that are driving these cruise stocks higher at the time of writing.
Indeed, the cruise line sector is one that’s in need of some positive news. Despite a rising tide in this sector that has lifted these three stocks out from the depths of the pandemic, each of these stocks is well off of its pre-pandemic levels. There remains significant concern about how these cruise stocks will perform given their higher debt loads and various required capital raises over the past year-and-a-half.
That said, being the optimists we are, let’s take a look at the bright side. Here are two catalysts driving cruise stocks higher today.
Cruise Stocks Higher on Positive News for Two Major Cruise Lines
Both Carnival and Norwegian are making headlines today, buoying shares of Royal Caribbean as well. These two headlines are unique, but both signal strength in the recovery investors are betting on in this sector.
With respect to Carnival, the company announced that it plans on restarting more than half its fleet by October. That’s a big deal. Putting a timeline on when cruises will resume en masse gives investors the ability to forecast out cash flows. And that’s what equity analysis is all about.
Carnival intends to bring 42 ships from the company’s core Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK) and Cunard brands online. That’s more than half the company’s current fleet, and a big step up from current capacity levels. Additionally, the company hopes to get up to 65% capacity by year’s end. That’s a rather aggressive target, but one being cheered by investors.
For Norwegian, another mega-ship is expected to set sail shortly. This time, this ship will be the first of its kind, with a massive racetrack being featured as the key attraction to bring cruisegoers onboard. Currently, Norwegian has stated it expects to see this ship set sail late next year. However, anticipation is already building around what this ship brings in terms of potential.
The Norwegian Prema is one of six ships looking to make its maiden voyage next year. This ship carries a maximum capacity of more than 3,200 guests. Accordingly, investors bullish on the resurgence of cruise stocks are looking closer at what will entice folks to jump back aboard. Norwegian appears to have an intriguing offering set up for its guests. And shareholders also appear to like what they see.
On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.