Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2018
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies


Basis of Presentation


The accompanying consolidated financial statements are unaudited and, in our opinion, contain all normal recurring adjustments necessary for a fair statement of the results for the periods presented.


Our operations are seasonal and results for interim periods are not necessarily indicative of the results for the entire fiscal year. Historically, demand for cruises has been strongest during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer months. The interim consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with the audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2017, which are included in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 (“Annual Report”), filed with the SEC.


Earnings Per Share


The following table sets forth the reconciliation between basic and diluted earnings per share for the periods presented (in thousands, except share and per share data):


    Three Months Ended
September 30,
    Nine Months Ended
September 30,
    2018     2017     2018     2017  
Net income   $ 470,378     $ 400,692     $ 800,209     $ 661,075  
Basic weighted-average shares outstanding     221,511,630       228,267,307       224,033,156       227,891,916  
Dilutive effect of share awards     1,241,108       1,549,649       1,389,229       1,265,341  
Diluted weighted-average shares outstanding     222,752,738       229,816,956       225,422,385       229,157,257  
Basic earnings per share   $ 2.12     $ 1.76     $ 3.57     $ 2.90  
Diluted earnings per share   $ 2.11     $ 1.74     $ 3.55     $ 2.88  


For the three months ended September 30, 2018 and 2017, a total of 4.5 million and 4.8 million shares, respectively, and for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 and 2017, a total of 4.8 million and 5.9 million shares, respectively, have been excluded from diluted weighted-average shares outstanding because the effect of including them would have been anti-dilutive.


Revenue and Expense Recognition


On January 1, 2018, we adopted the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2014-09, Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606) (“Topic 606”). Topic 606 supersedes the revenue recognition requirements in Accounting Standards Codification 605—Revenue Recognition (“Topic 605”). Using the modified retrospective method, we applied the new requirements to those contracts which were not completed as of January 1, 2018. Results for reporting periods beginning after January 1, 2018 are presented below under “— Financial Statement Presentation” and “— Impacts on Financial Statements,” while prior period amounts are not adjusted and continue to be reported in accordance with our historic accounting under Topic 605.


Nature of Goods and Services


We offer our guests a multitude of cruise fare options when booking a cruise. Our cruise ticket prices generally include cruise fare and a wide variety of onboard activities and amenities, as well as meals and entertainment. In some instances, cruise ticket prices include round-trip airfare to and from the port of embarkation, complimentary beverages, unlimited shore excursions, free internet, pre-cruise hotel packages, and on some of the exotic itineraries, pre- or post-land packages. Prices vary depending on the particular cruise itinerary, stateroom category selected and the time of year that the voyage takes place. Passenger ticket revenue also includes full ship charters as well as port fees and taxes.


During the voyage, we generate onboard and other revenue for additional products and services which are not included in the cruise fare, including casino operations, certain food and beverage, gift shop purchases, spa services, photo services and other similar items. Food and beverage, casino operations and shore excursions are generally managed directly by us while retail shops, spa services, art auctions and internet services may be managed through contracts with third-party concessionaires. These contracts generally entitle us to a fixed percentage of the gross sales derived from these concessions, which is recognized on a net basis. While some onboard goods and services may be prepaid prior to the voyage, we utilize point-of-sale systems for discrete purchases made onboard. Certain of our product offerings are bundled and we allocate the value of the bundled goods and services between passenger ticket revenue and onboard and other revenue based upon the relative standalone selling prices of those goods and services.


Timing of Satisfaction of Performance Obligations and Significant Payment Terms


The payment terms and cancellation policies vary by brand, stateroom category, length of voyage, and country of purchase. A deposit for a future booking is required at or soon after the time of booking. Final payment is generally due between 120 days and 180 days before the voyage. Deposits on advance ticket sales are deferred when received, and include amounts that are refundable. Deferred amounts are subsequently recognized as revenue ratably during the voyage sailing days as services are rendered over time on the ship. Deposits are generally cancellable and refundable prior to sailing, but may be subject to penalties, depending on the timing of cancellation. The inception of substantive cancellation penalties generally coincides with the dates that final payment is due, and penalties generally increase as the voyage sail date approaches. Cancellation fees are recognized in passenger ticket revenue in the month of the cancellation.


Goods and services associated with onboard revenue are generally provided at a point in time and revenue is recognized when the performance obligation is satisfied. Onboard goods and services rendered may be paid at disembarkation. A receivable is recognized for onboard goods and services rendered when the voyage is not completed before the end of the period.


Cruises that are reserved under full ship charter agreements are subject to the payment terms of the specific agreement and may be either cancelable or non-cancelable. Deposits received on charter voyages are deferred when received and included in advance ticket sales. Deferred amounts are subsequently recognized as revenue ratably over the voyage sailing dates.


Segment Reporting


We have concluded that our business has a single reportable segment. Each brand, Norwegian, Oceania Cruises and Regent, constitutes a business for which discrete financial information is available and management regularly reviews the brand level operating results and, therefore, each brand is considered an operating segment. Our operating segments have similar economic and qualitative characteristics, including similar long-term margins and similar products and services; therefore, we aggregate all of the operating segments into one reportable segment.


Although we sell cruises on an international basis, our passenger ticket revenue is primarily attributed to U.S.-sourced guests who make reservations in the U.S. Revenue attributable to U.S.-sourced guests has historically approximated 75-80%. No other individual country’s revenues exceed 10% in any given period.


Disaggregation of Revenue


Revenue and cash flows are affected by economic factors in various geographical regions.


Revenues by destination consisted of the following (in thousands): 


    Three Months Ended
September 30,
    Nine Months Ended
September 30,
    2018     2017     2018     2017  
North America   $ 997,550     $ 873,062     $ 2,724,298     $ 2,493,101  
Europe     763,680       679,168       1,227,046       1,125,274  
Asia-Pacific     77,986       79,439       499,377       268,383  
Other     19,140       20,069       223,212       259,864  
Total revenue   $ 1,858,356     $ 1,651,738     $ 4,673,933     $ 4,146,622  


Contract Balances 


Receivables from customers are included within accounts receivables, net. As of September 30, 2018 and January 1, 2018, our receivables from customers were $19.7 million and $13.8 million, respectively.


Contract liabilities represent the Company’s obligation to transfer goods and services to a customer. A customer deposit held for a future cruise is generally considered a contract liability only when final payment is both due and paid by the customer and is usually recognized in earnings within 180 days of becoming a contract. Other deposits held and included within advance ticket sales or other long-term liabilities are not considered contract liabilities as they are largely cancelable and refundable. Our contract liabilities are included within advance ticket sales. As of September 30, 2018 and January 1, 2018, our contract liabilities were $1.3 billion and $1.0 billion, respectively. Of the amounts included within contract liabilities, approximately 50% were refundable in accordance with our cancellation policies. Approximately $1.0 billion of the January 1, 2018 contract liability balance has been recognized in revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2018.


Our revenue is seasonal and based on the demand for cruises. Historically, the seasonality of the North American cruise industry generally results in the greatest demand for cruises during the Northern Hemisphere’s summer months. This predictable seasonality in demand has resulted in fluctuations by quarter in our revenue and results of operations. The seasonality of our results is increased due to ships being taken out of service for regularly scheduled Dry-docks, which we typically schedule during non-peak demand periods. This seasonality will result in higher contract liability balances as a result of an increased number of reservations preceding these peak demand periods. The addition of new ships also increases the contract liability balances prior to a new ship’s delivery, as staterooms are usually made available for reservation prior to the inaugural cruise. Norwegian Bliss, with approximately 4,000 Berths, was delivered on April 19, 2018 and added 8% capacity to our fleet.


Practical Expedients and Exemptions


We do not disclose information about remaining performance obligations that have original expected durations of one year or less. We recognize revenue in an amount that corresponds directly with the value to the customer of our performance completed to date. Variable consideration, which will be determined based on a future rate and passenger count, is excluded from the disclosure and these amounts are not material. These variable non-disclosed contractual amounts relate to our non-cancelable charter agreements and a leasing arrangement with a certain port, both of which are long-term in nature. Amounts that are fixed in nature due to the application of minimum guarantees are also not material and are not disclosed.


Contract Costs


Management expects that incremental commissions and credit card fees paid as a result of obtaining ticket contracts are recoverable; therefore, we recognize these amounts as assets when they are paid prior to the voyage. Costs of air tickets and port taxes and fees that fulfill future performance obligations are also considered recoverable and are recorded as assets. As of September 30, 2018, $118.4 million of costs incurred to obtain customers and $25.6 million of costs to fulfill contracts with customers are recognized as assets within prepaid expenses and other assets. Incremental commissions, credit card fees, air ticket costs, and port taxes and fees are recognized ratably over the voyage sailing dates, concurrent with associated revenue, and are primarily in commissions, transportation and other expense.


Financial Statement Presentation


As of January 1, 2018, in connection with the adoption of Topic 606, we reclassified $51.6 million of deferred costs associated with obtaining customer contracts to prepaid expenses and other assets from advance ticket sales.


Impacts on Financial Statements


The adoption of Topic 606 does not change the timing, classification or amount of revenue recognized from customers in our consolidated financial statements nor does it change the timing, classification or amount of incremental costs to obtain and fulfill those contracts with customers. Therefore, the adoption had no impact on our consolidated statement of operations or consolidated statement of comprehensive income.


The following table summarizes the impact of the adoption of Topic 606 on our consolidated balance sheet, which has been adjusted for deferred contract costs that would have been included, net, in advance ticket sales, as of September 30, 2018 (in thousands):


    As Reported     Adjustments     Balances Without 
Adoption of 
Topic 606
Prepaid expenses and other assets   $ 298,435     $ (59,881 )   $ 238,554  
Total assets   $ 15,316,122     $ (59,881 )   $ 15,256,241  
Advance ticket sales   $ 1,648,742     $ (59,881 )   $ 1,588,861  
Total liabilities and shareholders’ equity   $ 15,316,122     $ (59,881 )   $ 15,256,241  


The following table summarizes the impact of the adoption of Topic 606 on our consolidated statement of cash flows for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 (in thousands):


    As Reported     Adjustments     Balances Without 
Adoption of
Topic 606
Changes in operating assets and liabilities:                        
Prepaid expenses and other assets   $ (34,668 )   $ 8,282     $ (26,386 )
Advance ticket sales   $ 316,268     $ (8,282 )   $ 307,986  
Net cash provided by operating activities   $ 1,720,101     $     $ 1,720,101  


Foreign Currency


The majority of our transactions are settled in U.S. dollars. We translate assets and liabilities of our foreign subsidiaries at exchange rates in effect at the balance sheet date. We recognized a loss of $0.2 million and $4.0 million for the three months ended September 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively, and a gain of $10.7 million and a loss of $14.8 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2018 and 2017, respectively, related to transactions denominated in other currencies.


Depreciation and Amortization


The amortization of deferred financing fees is included in depreciation and amortization in the consolidated statements of cash flows; however, for purposes of the consolidated statements of operations the amortization of deferred financing fees is included in interest expense, net.


Recently Issued and Adopted Accounting Guidance


In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-15, Intangibles—Goodwill and Other—Internal-Use Software (Subtopic 350-40): Customer’s Accounting for Implementation Costs Incurred in a Cloud Computing Arrangement That is a Service Contract (a consensus of the FAS Emerging Issues Task Force), which is designed to align the accounting for costs of implementing a cloud computing service arrangement, regardless of whether the hosting arrangement conveys a license to the hosted software. The update requires that for hosting arrangements considered to be a service contract, the criteria for capitalization of developing or obtaining internal-use software shall be applied. The update is effective for annual periods, including interim periods within those annual periods, beginning after December 15, 2020, with early adoption permitted, including adoption in any interim period. A prospective or retrospective transition approach must be elected. The Company is evaluating the impact of this guidance on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.


On January 1, 2018, the Company adopted ASU No. 2017-12, Derivatives and Hedging (Topic 815) — Targeted Improvements to Accounting for Hedging Activities, which simplifies the accounting for derivatives. For derivative instruments that are designated and qualify as cash flow hedges, the gain or loss on the derivative instrument is reported as a component of other comprehensive income, reclassified into earnings in the same period or periods during which the hedged transaction affects earnings and presented in the same income statement line item as the earnings effect of the hedged item. The Company recorded a cumulative effect adjustment to accumulated other comprehensive income (loss) with a corresponding adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings related to the elimination of the separate measurement of ineffectiveness for its cash flow hedges, upon adoption. The adjustments were not material to the Company’s consolidated financial statements. We refer you to Note 8. “Fair Value Measurements and Derivatives” in these notes to consolidated financial statements.


On January 1, 2018, the Company adopted ASU No. 2016-16, Income Taxes (Topic 740) — Intra-Entity Transfers of Assets Other Than Inventory, which requires companies to recognize the income-tax consequences of an intra-entity transfer of an asset other than inventory when the transfer occurs, rather than when the asset has been sold to an outside party. The Company recorded, upon adoption, a cumulative-effect adjustment to retained earnings of $19.1 million, which captures the write-off of previously unamortized deferred income tax expense from past intra-entity transfers involving assets other than inventory not previously recognized under accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S.


In December 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“the Act”) was enacted. Among other provisions, the Act reduced the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%. Also in December 2017, the SEC staff issued Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 118, which addresses the recognition of provisional amounts when a company does not have the necessary information available, prepared or analyzed (including computations) in reasonable detail to complete its accounting for the effect of the changes required by the Act. The measurement period ends when a company has obtained, prepared and analyzed the information necessary to finalize its accounting, but cannot extend beyond one year. As of September 30, 2018, the Company has not completed the accounting for the tax effects of enactment of the Act; however, as described below, the Company has made reasonable provisional best estimates, which are subject to change. The most significant impact of the Act for the Company was a $7.4 million reduction of the value of net deferred tax liabilities (which represent future tax expenses) recorded in 2017 as a discrete tax benefit resulting from the corporate tax rate reduction from 35% to 21%. Any adjustments to the provisional amount through the end of 2018 will be recorded as adjustments to income tax expense in income from operations. The provisional amounts incorporate assumptions made based upon the Company’s current interpretation of the Act and may change as the Company receives additional clarification and implementation guidance. Other aspects of the Act are either not applicable or not expected to have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.


In January 2017, the FASB issued ASU No. 2017-04, Intangibles—Goodwill and Other (Topic 350) — Simplifying the Test for Goodwill Impairment, which simplifies the test for goodwill impairment by eliminating Step 2 from the goodwill impairment test. Step 2 measures a goodwill impairment loss by comparing the implied fair value of a reporting unit’s goodwill with the carrying amount of that goodwill. The guidance is effective for annual or any interim goodwill impairment tests in years beginning after December 15, 2019, with early adoption permitted for interim or annual goodwill impairment tests performed on testing dates after January 1, 2017. The Company does not expect to early adopt this guidance. The Company will evaluate, upon adoption of this guidance, the impact of this guidance on the Company’s consolidated financial statements. 


In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842), which sets out the principles for the recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure of leases. The update was issued to increase transparency and comparability among organizations by recognizing rights and obligations resulting from leases as lease assets and liabilities on the balance sheet and disclosing key information about leasing arrangements for leases with a term of 12 months or more. The update modifies lessors’ classification criteria for leases and the accounting for sales-type and direct financing leases. The update requires qualitative and quantitative disclosures designed to give financial statement users additional information on the amount, timing, and uncertainty of cash flows arising from leases. The update is effective for annual reporting periods, and interim periods within those annual periods, beginning after December 15, 2018, with early adoption permitted. The Company has engaged a third party to assist in reviewing the Company’s existing leases and evaluating the Company’s existing contracts to identify those that are considered to be leases under the new guidance. The Company plans to adopt the practical expedients offered by the guidance and is evaluating the impact of those expedients upon adoption. The update is to be applied retrospectively with a cumulative-effect adjustment on January 1, 2019. Upon implementation of the guidance, the Company expects to increase, on its consolidated balance sheet, both assets and liabilities to reflect the lease rights and obligations, respectively, and the Company expects to make additional related disclosures.