Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Monday. The brokerage currently has $134.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Royal Caribbean have outperformed the industry in the past six months. Shares are likely to continue gaining after the company reported better-than-expected earnings in the fourth quarter of 2018. With this, it posted earnings beat for the 16th straight quarter. Earnings not only surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate but also grew year over year, backed by higher revenues. Notably, the reported figure was also higher than $1.45-$1.50 anticipated earlier. Higher passenger ticket, as well as onboard and other revenues, aided overall top line. Solid booking trend is anticipated to continue in 2019. Furthermore, earnings estimates for 2018 have been revised upward over the past month, reflecting investors’ optimism surrounding the company’s growth potential. Nonetheless, higher costs might hurt profitability in the near term. Global uncertainties and tricky consumer discretionary spending are added concerns for Royal Caribbean.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on RCL. Wolfe Research set a $151.00 target price on shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 11th. Citigroup cut their target price on shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises from $136.00 to $125.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, October 30th. Macquarie upped their target price on shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises from $103.00 to $104.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Friday, October 26th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Friday, January 4th. Finally, Tigress Financial reiterated a buy rating on shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises in a research note on Friday, December 7th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $140.08.

NYSE:RCL opened at $119.00 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.75, a current ratio of 0.17 and a quick ratio of 0.15. The stock has a market capitalization of $24.87 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.43, a PEG ratio of 0.85 and a beta of 1.55. Royal Caribbean Cruises has a 1-year low of $89.48 and a 1-year high of $133.60.

Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 30th. The company reported $1.53 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.51 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $2.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.31 billion. Royal Caribbean Cruises had a net margin of 19.08% and a return on equity of 17.08%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $7.53 EPS. As a group, sell-side analysts expect that Royal Caribbean Cruises will post 9.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Royal Caribbean Cruises news, CEO Richard D. Fain bought 18,900 shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 13th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $105.60 per share, for a total transaction of $1,995,840.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief executive officer now owns 842,537 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $88,971,907.20. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Bernt Reitan sold 1,578 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.58, for a total transaction of $168,183.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 15.26% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. FMR LLC grew its position in shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises by 16.5% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 5,861,019 shares of the company’s stock valued at $607,202,000 after purchasing an additional 830,047 shares in the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group grew its position in Royal Caribbean Cruises by 103.9% in the second quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 123,967 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,929,000 after acquiring an additional 63,183 shares during the period. Investment House LLC grew its position in Royal Caribbean Cruises by 30.0% in the third quarter. Investment House LLC now owns 3,100 shares of the company’s stock worth $403,000 after acquiring an additional 715 shares during the period. NEXT Financial Group Inc grew its position in Royal Caribbean Cruises by 23.8% in the third quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 2,563 shares of the company’s stock worth $333,000 after acquiring an additional 493 shares during the period. Finally, Hexavest Inc. grew its position in Royal Caribbean Cruises by 44.9% in the third quarter. Hexavest Inc. now owns 542,895 shares of the company’s stock worth $70,544,000 after acquiring an additional 168,242 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.91% of the company’s stock.

About Royal Caribbean Cruises

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. operates as a cruise company. The company operates cruises under the Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises brands. The Royal Caribbean International brand provides itineraries to destinations worldwide, including Alaska, Asia, Australia, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, the Panama Canal, and New Zealand with cruise lengths that range from 2 to 23 nights.

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