Last updated: February 20. 2013 2:41AM - 126 Views

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(AP) Shares of Norwegian Cruise Line shares skyrocketed in its first day as a publicly traded company.

The cruise operator's stock gained $5.79, or 30.5 percent, to close at $24.79 on Friday. It opened at $25.10, 32 percent above the $19 offering price.

The pricing of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.'s initial public offering of about 23.5 million shares came in above the expected range of $16 to $18 per share.

The offering raised about $446.5 million.

Norwegian joins other publicly traded cruise operators including Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and Carnival Corp. The company said in a regulatory filing that it plans to use the offering's net proceeds to redeem or prepay outstanding debt as well as pay expenses related to the IPO.

Norwegian is giving the underwriters a 30-day option to buy up to an additional 3.5 million shares.

For the 12 months ended Sept. 30, the Miami company's net income was $165.6 million on revenue of $2.26 billion.

It is trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the NCLH ticker symbol.

Norwegian sails its 11 passenger vessels on routes through the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and the Baltic.

Associated Press
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