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Royal Caribbean (RCL) Q1 Earnings: Stock Likely to Beat

We expect Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. RCL to beat expectations when it reports first-quarter 2016 results on Apr 28, before the opening bell.

Last quarter, the company posted a positive earnings surprise of 2.17%, bringing the trailing four-quarter average to a positive 16.72%.

Let’s see what’s in store for the company this quarter.

Why a Likely Positive Surprise?

Our proven model shows that Royal Caribbean is likely to beat earnings because it has the right combination of two key components.

Zacks ESP: The Earnings ESP, which represents the difference between the Most Accurate estimate of 33 cents and the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 31 cents, stands at 6.45%. This is a very meaningful and leading indicator of a likely positive earnings surprise.

Zacks Rank: Royal Caribbean has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Note that stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 or 3 (Hold) have a significantly higher chance of beating earnings. Meanwhile, Sell-rated stocks (#4 or 5) should never be considered going into an earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions.

Thus, the combination of Royal Caribbean’s Zacks Rank #2 and positive ESP makes us fairly confident of an earnings beat.

What's Driving the Better-than-Expected Earnings?

Royal Caribbean expects adjusted first-quarter earnings of 30 cents per share, much higher than 20 cents earned a year ago. The Zacks consensus Estimate is currently pegged higher at 92 cents.

Given the strength and diversity of its brands and itineraries, the cruise operator has successfully captured the potential and repeat cruise vacationers. Strong booking and demand trends, especially for Caribbean, North America and Europe sailings, should boost revenues in the to-be-reported quarter. Despite the economic slowdown in China, the company's business is poised to gain from solid growth in the cruise industry of Asia and the introduction of winter cruises in the China schedule.

Royal Caribbean has deployed more efficient hardware, like propulsion and cooling systems, to lower fuel consumption. These would, however, increase the company's expenses and hurt margins in the to-be reported quarter. Further, revenues are likely to suffer due to lower onboard spending by non-U.S. tourists due to the strengthening U.S. dollar.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other companies in the consumer discretionary sector that investors may consider, as our model shows that they too have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:

Regal Entertainment Group RGC, with an Earnings ESP of +8.00% and a Zacks Rank #3.

Boyd Gaming Corp. BYD, with an Earnings ESP of +36.00% and a Zacks Rank #1.

Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. PNK, with an Earnings ESP of +23.21% and a Zacks Rank #3.

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PINNACLE ENTRTN (PNK): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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ROYAL CARIBBEAN (RCL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
REGAL ENTMNT GP (RGC): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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