Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE:RCL) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, February 2, 2012. 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.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 14 cents per share, a decline of 30% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 15 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It has since dropped over the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 28.6% versus last year to $2.74.

Last quarter, the company came in at profit of $1.90 per share against a mean estimate of net income of $1.86 per share, beating estimates after missing them in the previous quarter. In the second quarter, it missed forecasts by one cent.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 11.3% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $1.78 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on Royal Caribbean Cruises as six analysts rate it as a buy, none rate it as a sell and six rate it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 11.8% to $399 million ($1.82 a share) from $356.8 million ($1.64 a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 12.7% to $2.32 billion from $2.06 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 11.5%, with the biggest boost coming in the most recent quarter when revenue rose 12.7% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 54.4% in the second quarter and 4.7% in the first quarter.

Competitors to Watch: Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL), Wyndham Worldwide Corp. (NYSE:WYN), Carnival plc (NYSE:CUK), Ambassadors Intl., Inc. (NASDAQ:AMIE).

Stock Price Performance: During December 28, 2011 to January 27, 2012, the stock price had risen $2.92 (11.8%) from $24.77 to $27.69. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between February 3, 2011 and February 11, 2011 when shares rose for seven-straight days, rising 6.3% (+$2.82) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between May 18, 2011 and May 26, 2011 when shares fell for seven-straight days, falling 7.1% (-$2.87) over that span.

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

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