Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE:RCL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Thursday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $137.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Royal Caribbean shares have outpaced the industry in the past year. Given solid performance in the last reported quarter along with favorable booking trends, the company raised its full-year 2017 earnings view. Going forward, the company’s sailings in the U.S., Europe, Alaska, Baltic and Asia, are likely to continue performing strongly. The company thus remains positioned to witness another record year and achieve its targets under the Double-Double program. However, higher costs might hurt the company’s profitability in the near term. Further, lingering global uncertainties in key operating regions, along with negative currency translation remain concerns. Even so, its capacity growth should aid in meeting increased demand while ship innovation and technology investments should lead to higher yields.”

A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on RCL. BidaskClub raised Royal Caribbean Cruises from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Thursday, August 17th. Wedbush reaffirmed an outperform rating and issued a $129.00 price target (up from $125.00) on shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. UBS AG reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $131.00 price target (up from $112.00) on shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) downgraded Royal Caribbean Cruises to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 15th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $134.00 price target on shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises in a research report on Thursday, September 7th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, seventeen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Royal Caribbean Cruises presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $118.49.

Shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) opened at 120.92 on Thursday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $119.72 and a 200 day moving average of $108.73. The firm has a market cap of $26.01 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.96 and a beta of 1.03. Royal Caribbean Cruises has a 12 month low of $65.45 and a 12 month high of $125.00.

Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 1st. The company reported $1.71 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.67 by $0.04. Royal Caribbean Cruises had a return on equity of 16.71% and a net margin of 17.73%. The business had revenue of $2.20 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.19 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.09 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Royal Caribbean Cruises will post $7.44 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 11th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 22nd will be given a dividend of $0.60 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 21st. This is a boost from Royal Caribbean Cruises’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. This represents a $2.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.98%. Royal Caribbean Cruises’s payout ratio is currently 26.97%.

In related news, COO Adam M. Goldstein sold 120,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $118.21, for a total value of $14,185,200.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now owns 191,252 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $22,607,898.92. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Richard D. Fain sold 20,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $109.62, for a total value of $2,192,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 967,741 shares in the company, valued at approximately $106,083,768.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 480,079 shares of company stock worth $56,139,855. 15.30% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in RCL. Acadian Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Royal Caribbean Cruises by 447.1% in the 1st quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 1,778 shares of the company’s stock valued at $174,000 after buying an additional 1,453 shares in the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board boosted its stake in Royal Caribbean Cruises by 452.1% in the 1st quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 41,275 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,049,000 after buying an additional 33,799 shares in the last quarter. LSV Asset Management acquired a new stake in Royal Caribbean Cruises in the 1st quarter valued at $2,570,000. Suntrust Banks Inc. boosted its stake in Royal Caribbean Cruises by 9.8% in the 1st quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 4,570 shares of the company’s stock valued at $448,000 after buying an additional 408 shares in the last quarter. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. boosted its stake in Royal Caribbean Cruises by 13.1% in the 1st quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 528,649 shares of the company’s stock valued at $51,866,000 after buying an additional 61,429 shares in the last quarter. 71.60% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Royal Caribbean Cruises

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a cruise company. The Company owns and operates three global cruise brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises (Global Brands). The Company also own joint venture interest in the German brand TUI Cruises, interest in the Spanish brand Pullmantur and interest in the Chinese brand SkySea Cruises (collectively, Partner Brands).

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