Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:LIND) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Nov 02, 2018 • 08:30 am ET

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Lindblad Expeditions Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:LIND) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good morning, and welcome to the Lindblad Expeditions Third Quarter 2018 Financial Results Conference Call. (Operator Instructions) Please note this event is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Craig Felenstein, CFO. Please go ahead.

Executive
Craig Felenstein

Thank you, operator. Good morning, everyone, and thank you for joining us for Lindblad's Third Quarter 2018 Earnings Call. With me on the call today is Sven Lindblad, our Founder and CEO. Sven will begin with some opening comments, and then I will follow with some details on our third quarter results before we open the call for Q&A. You can find our latest earnings release in the Investor Relations section of our website. (Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

In addition, our comments may reference non-GAAP financial measures. A reconciliation of the most directly comparable GAAP financial measures and other associated disclosures are contained in the Company's earnings release.

And with that out of the way, let me turn the call over to Sven.

Executive
Sven Lindblad

Thank you, Craig, and thanks to all of you for joining us on the call today. Lindblad's strong operational momentum continued into the third quarter as the thesis we laid out when we accessed the public markets back in 2015 continues to play out. The increased capacity we are building is being filled with by growing demand from our core base of experienced guests, while at the same time, we are seeing more and more first time travelers looking for authentic and high-quality expeditions with an operator who has over 50 years of experience exploring the world's most amazing locations.

Reservations throughout 2018 have remained very strong and the third quarter was no exception. Bookings during Q3 were up 16% versus a year ago, and we are seeing broad-based demand across our fleet and the geographies we explore, and this momentum has accelerated quarter after quarter. One of the questions we periodically get from the investor community is how we would fair during a period of economic instability. While there are many factors that would influence that, history has shown that we tend to be more resilient than most, especially those in the more traditional cruise sector.

An interesting snapshot of this is during the month of October when the stock market overall has taken a pretty significant hit, Lindblad generated record bookings for the Company with October bookings more than doubling versus the same (inaudible) in 2017. Obviously, this is a very specific data point, but I did find the trend interesting nevertheless.

One other metric that highlights the growing demand for expedition travel is our ability to maintain high occupancy rates even as we have expanded inventory. Occupancy during the third quarter across our fleet increased to 92%, a reflection of the accelerating demand we are seeing from both new as well as returning guests and it gives us confidence in the long-term growth prospects for Lindblad as we continue to increase our capacity.

Despite the growth in occupancy, our financial results in the quarter declined versus