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Royal Caribbean (RCL) Tops Q1 Earnings on Solid Revenues

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. RCL posted robust first-quarter 2016 results, with both earnings and revenues surpassing the respective Zacks Consensus Estimate.

Adjusted earnings of 57 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 32 cents by 78.1% and came above management’s guidance of 30 cents.

Further, earnings increased substantially from the year-ago tally of 20 cents.

Total revenue increased 5.6% year over year to $1.92 billion driven by higher onboard spending as well as passenger ticket revenues. Revenues beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.91 billion by 0.6%.

Quarter Highlights

On a constant currency basis, net yields increased 7% year over year, 300 basis points (bps) higher than the guidance. Net yields grew on the back of strong Caribbean demand and higher onboard revenues.

Passenger ticket revenues were up approximately 5.5% to $1.38 billion. Onboard and other revenues also increased 6.1% to $539.6 million.

Net cruise costs (NCC), excluding fuel, increased 4.7% on a constant currency basis, and were in line with management’s guidance.

Total cruise operating expenses increased roughly 1.6% year over year to $1.24 billion mainly due to a rise in onboard and other expenses, payroll expenses and other operating costs. The increase was partly offset by lower fuel expenses.

Second-Quarter 2016 Guidance

Royal Caribbean expects adjusted earnings per share to be $1.00 per share in the quarter, up year over year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged higher at $1.25.

Constant-currency net yields are projected to increase 1%. An early Easter shifting sailings into the first quarter in 2016 and timing of new ship deliveries are expected to affect yields.

NCC, excluding fuel, is likely to be up 2% on a constant currency basis.

2016 Guidance

Royal Caribbean’s adjusted EPS is expected in the range of $6.15–$6.35, up from the prior guidance of $5.90–$6.10. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2016 is pegged at $6.06. Foreign exchange net of fuel is expected to positively affect 2016 earnings by 15 cents.

The company's bookings are expected to be strong for all regions and ahead of last year, excluding China.

The company expects net yields to increase about 2.5–4%, compared to the prior guidance of 2–4%. Strong first-quarter revenues, combined with strong demand trends for North American sailing will more than offset weaker demand for Mediterranean sailings from North American consumers. NCC, excluding fuel, on a constant currency basis, is expected to be up 1% or less.

Our Take

Royal Caribbean’s solid booking trends are indicative of strong growth trends. Further, we are encouraged by the company’s strategy to grow beyond its familiar itineraries and capitalize on the opportunities presented by the fast-growing Asian cruise market. However, higher cruise costs are likely to offset the benefit.

Royal Caribbean currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Other stocks in the same industry that can be considered at current levels are Carnival Corp. CCL, The Madison Square Garden Company MSG and Carmike Cinemas Inc. CKEC. All these stocks carry the same Zacks Rank as Royal Caribbean.

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ROYAL CARIBBEAN (RCL): Free Stock Analysis Report
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CARMIKE CINEMA (CKEC): Free Stock Analysis Report
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