At least one Wall Street pro thinks the sell-off in Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH 0.07%) stock has gone too far. James Hardiman, an analyst at Wedbush Securities recently attached a $26 per share price target on the battered cruise ship stock, which equates to more than a 100% return from the current level.
Norwegian just reported first-quarter earnings results that showed a significant strain on its business as it operates under a complete "no-sail" order from regulatory bodies including the CDC. Revenue fell 11% in the period, which included just over two weeks of cruise cancellations through late March. The company took several significant writedown charges related to COVID-19 that added up to a $1.6 billion one-time impairment.
But Wedbush sees encouraging signs of persistent consumer demand for cruises once the coronavirus threat fades. The nightmare scenario of insolvency, meanwhile, is unlikely now that Norwegian has raised enough capital to potentially operate through 2021 without resuming its cruise services.
Those bright spots do suggest that the 80% stock price sell-off might be overdone. However, the list of risks to this business includes major questions about the timing of any rebound and its profitability going forward. It may also be several years before Norwegian and its peers return to anything approaching normal operating trends, Hardiman said. Those issues, and broader economic challenges, might get in the way of any quick rebound in Norwegian's stock.