Market Overview

Smooth Sailing: Royal Caribbean Upgraded To Buy At Argus

Smooth Sailing: Royal Caribbean Upgraded To Buy At Argus

Argus has upgraded Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (NYSE: RCL) to Buy from Hold on strong market opportunities and few competitors.

Upgrade And Justification

The upgrade came after Royal Caribbean, the No. 2 cruise line, reported better-than expected quarterly earnings. Lower-than-expected net cruise costs and fuel expense offset lower ticket sales.

“Going forward, we expect RCL to benefit from lower costs and increased international demand, as well as from its investment in new ships, which should help to boost net yields and margins,” analyst John Staszak wrote in a note.

Looking Forward

Royal Caribbean projects 2017 EPS of $6.90–$7.10, above the consensus estimate of $6.81 prior to the earnings announcement. As such, Staszak raised his 2017 EPS estimate by $0.10 to $7.20.

The analyst said the company is seeing demand for European and North American cruises (Alaska, Bermuda and the Caribbean).

Staszak expects Royal Caribbean’s operating margin to benefit in 2017 from higher spending on food and beverages, as well as from high occupancy.

Shares of Royal Caribbean closed Friday’s trading at $94.56. Staszak set a target price of $116, representing a potential upside of about 23 percent.

Posted-In: Analyst Color Earnings News Upgrades Price Target Travel Analyst Ratings Movers Best of Benzinga


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