Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Earnings: Tops Analysts’ Expectations

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE:RCL) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the fourth quarter. Royal Caribbean Cruises operates in the cruise vacation industry. It owns five cruise brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises and CDF Croisieres de France.

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Royal Caribbean Cruises Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Net income for the cruise line rose to $36.6 million (17 cents per share) vs. $31.9 million (15 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 14.6% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 10.7% to $1.78 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. beat the mean analyst estimate of 14 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $1.78 billion.

Quoting Management: “First and foremost, our thoughts are with the guests, crew members and families who have been affected by the tragedy in Italy,” said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer. “Like so many who have spent their working lives in this industry, a tragedy like this just breaks our hearts.” Fain continued, “All of us in the industry, who are so devoted to providing safe and exceptional vacations to millions of people around the world, are devastated and humbled when something like this happens. Ironically, this tragedy is so noteworthy partially because it is so rare. Cruising has an extraordinary record of safe operation but this tragic incident is a reminder that there is no such thing as perfect safety, only perfect dedication to safety. And I can assure you that we strive toward this perfect dedication to safety each and every day. Stunned by the tragedy, we and the rest of the industry are determined to learn whatever lessons we can and rededicate ourselves to continue providing the best and safest vacations for our guests.”

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past five quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 11.4%, with the biggest boost coming in the third quarter when revenue rose 12.7% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has now beaten estimates the last two quarters. In the third quarter, it topped expectations with net income of $1.90 versus a mean estimate of net income of $1.86 per share.

Looking Forward: Analysts appear increasingly negative about the company’s results for the next quarter. The average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year has moved down from 36 cents a share to 28 cents over the last ninety days. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has moved down from $2.76 a share to $2.74 over the last thirty days.

(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at