Cruise line operator and Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick Royal Caribbean
The only negative for the quarter was those pesky fuel costs, which rose 53% to $158 million. Fortunately, booking trends were strong, and net yields -- an industry measure for net revenue per available passenger cruise days (APCD) -- grew an impressive 7.1%. Management also did a nice job of controlling costs, as net cruise costs per APCD increased just 2.9% despite the jump in fuel. Excluding the fuel prices, net cruise costs decreased 1%.
As a result, quarterly earnings of $0.35 handily beat analyst projections, but management lowered its full-year guidance on the expectation that current high fuel costs will stay that way for at least the rest of 2008. Earnings could hit close to $3 per share, but could also end up about flat from 2007 (when they came in at $2.82) if high fuel costs persist, or if strong booking trends catch a cold from a chilly economic climate
Royal isn't the only cruiser facing these trends. Archrival Carnival
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