October 24, 2000
Monday’s launch of P&O Princess Cruises (POC) on the New York Stock Exchange came complete with the ceremonial ringing of the opening bell by Peter Ratcliffe, Chief Executive Officer of P&O Princess Cruises. Gavin MacLeod, Captain Merrill Stubing of the popular television series “The Love Boat” was also trotted out. Bottom line? The NYSE listing means that Princess Cruises aficionados can more easily buy shares of the cruise line’s stock. The big event, held at the NYSE in New York, heralded the “demerger” of the company, which separated its cruise line operations from its cargo and ferry businesses. More relevant to American consumers (and cruise investors), however, is that Princess is now listed on the NYSE; previously, the stock was only traded on the London Stock Exchange. What does that mean to cruise passengers? Well, if you are a one-line devotee and want to feel like your cruise fare is supporting your dividend payments, Princess’ entry into that marketplace offers yet another investing option. Other cruise lines that trade on the NYSE include Carnival (CCL), Royal Caribbean (RCL) and Norwegian (NRW). Is spending your hard-earned cash on cruise stock a worthwhile investment? Check out the latest stats on the NYSE-traded cruise lines and see for yourself: * Carnival currently leads the pack, barely. It opens today at $22.31 a share with a 52-week high of $51.87 and a 52-week low of $18.31. Dividends are paying out at 10 cents a share. * A breathless second, Royal Caribbean opens today at $21.30. Its 52-week high of $58.87 surpassed Carnival but so did its 52-week low of $16.12. Its dividend payout is slightly more generous at 13 cents a share. * Significantly more anemic is Norwegian Cruise Lines, which opened at $20 a share (its 52-week high) when it launched but has slipped to $8.63 a share -- at opening today -- with its basement-dwelling 52-week low of $8.50 not too far behind today’s opening price. You won’t get rich on its dividend payment; it’s listed as 0. No cents. * And newcomer Princess? It premiered yesterday at $18.00 and opens today at $17.38. Cnnfn.com is a terrific resource if you want to research the viability of investing in cruise lines. At its easiest, you just plug in the NYSE symbol and it calls forth key statistics. But you can also click on analyst reports, company business news, competitor info and a trading overview.