Financial Performance

Royal Caribbean Cruises to Record Q3 Earnings

Even though the recent hurricanes cost it more than $55 million, the cruise operator's net income rose 8.6% to $752.8 million.
Matthew HellerNovember 7, 2017

Royal Caribbean Cruises reported record third-quarter earnings on Tuesday even though the recent hurricanes cost it more than $55 million, or $0.26 per share.

The cruise operator’s net income rose 8.6% to $752.8 million or $3.49 per share, including a $0.20 negative impact from the hurricanes, while revenue increased to $2.57 billion from $2.56 billion, in the previous year.

Analysts had expected unadjusted earnings of $3.43 a share on revenue of $2.58 billion.

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Royal Caribbean, whose brands include Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises, not only lost revenue because of the storms that hit key markets in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean, but also incurred direct costs associated with the storms and the company’s humanitarian efforts.

“Delivering record earnings during a period of such unprecedented disruption is a testament to the strength in demand for cruising and for our brands,” CFO Jason T. Liberty said in a news release.

The better-than-expected third-quarter results reflected in part strong last-minute demand at higher prices for cruises in China, Europe and North America, as well as Royal Caribbean’s cost-saving initiatives. Favorable trends in fuel prices and consumption also boosted the quarter.

Through its Double-Double program, the company has been aiming to double its 2014 earnings per share by 2017 and increase return on invested capital to double digits. For full-year 2017, it is expecting earnings per share to be in the range of $7.35 to $7.40 per share, which includes a $0.26 negative impact from the hurricanes.

“Strong demand trends coupled with our continued cost discipline have put us in a strong position to successfully complete our Double-Double program,” Liberty said, adding that Royal Caribbean had already achieved the program’s targets on a trailing twelve-month basis through September 2017.

Royal Caribbean said it was experiencing strong early booking trends for 2018. In trading Tuesday, its shares rose 3.3% to $129.23, bringing the stock’s year-to-date gain to 57.5%.