Royal Caribbean Improves Earnings Estimates
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has provided an update on the current outlook for bookings and yields. During 2002, as booking patterns improved, analysts have raised their earnings estimates, which currently average $0.85 for the third quarter. Since the company's last update, bookings have continued to strengthen and
costs have fallen. As a result, the company now expects reported third quarter earnings to be in the range of $0.98 to $0.99 per share, including
a charge of $20 million, or $0.10 per share recorded in connection with a previously disclosed potential litigation settlement. The
better-than-expected earnings are the results of an improved revenue environment and higher-than-anticipated cost savings. Net yields (net
revenue per available passenger cruise day) for the quarter were down about 1.7 percent from the third quarter of 2001. The third quarter's lower costs werethe results of the company's continued focus on cost savings, as well as the timing of certain expenses that will now be incurred in the fourth quarter.
Bookings for the fourth quarter continue have been reported to meet the company's expectations, but the pattern of customers booking their cruises late also
continues. The trend to later bookings exacerbates the difficulty of forecasting results. Full year earnings for 2002 are expected to be in the range of $1.55 to $1.60 per share, including the settlement charge referred to above. All figures mentioned do not include any amounts related to the proposed DLC combination with P&O Princess.