What happened

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NYSE:NCLH) stock outpaced the market by a wide margin last month with its 17% increase compared to a 1.8% uptick in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The rally helped put the stock closer to positive territory for the year, but it remains slightly in the red, down 8% compared to a 1% increase in the broader market.

A cruise ship docked near an island.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Investors pushed shares higher last month following a strong third-quarter earnings report. Norwegian Cruise Line saw its gross yield, a key industry growth metric, expand by 4.5% to outpace management's forecast during the peak summer sailing season. Cruise pricing held up too, which allowed profitability to rise after adjustment for volatile fuel costs.

Now what

CEO Frank Del Rio and his team said booking trends remain strong, and so they raised their 2018 outlook while making positive comments about vacation demand for trips into 2019 and 2020. In fact, the company has already sold close to 70% of its occupancy for the coming fiscal year, management said, at higher prices than last year. If they hold up, these trends will support another year of record sales and profit for the cruise specialist.

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