Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) today reported US GAAP and Adjusted Earnings per Share of $0.99 for the first quarter.  This is better than expected mainly due to improved revenue and overall bookings for the rest of the year continue to perform as expected. As a result, full year adjusted earnings guidance is increased to a range of $7.00 to $7.20.

The company also announced today board authorization for a $500 million share repurchase program.

Looking at the year as a whole, the company’s expectations remain largely unchanged from the guidance it provided 3 months ago:

  • Bookings, overall, are not materially different, with strength in Europeoffsetting the impact of Korea;
  • Currency and fuel are not materially different;
  • Costs continue to be under control; and
  • First quarter results are the key drivers of the upward guidance revision for the full year.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

Results for the First Quarter 2017:

  • US GAAP and Adjusted Net Income was $214.7 million or $0.99 per share, versus US GAAP Net Income of $99.1 million or $0.46 per share and Adjusted Net Income of $124.0 million or $0.57 per share in 2016.
  • Net Yields were up 6.0% on a Constant-Currency basis and 5.9% As-Reported.
  • Net Cruise Costs (“NCC”) excluding fuel per APCD decreased 4.4% on a Constant-Currency basis (down 4.9% As-Reported).

Full Year 2017:

  • Overall, the company’s booked position remains at a record level, better than last year on both a rate and volume basis.
  • Adjusted EPS is expected to be in the range of $7.00 to $7.20 per share, up 10¢ from previous guidance.
  • Net Yields are expected to increase 4.5% to 6.0% on a Constant-Currency basis (up 4.0% to 5.5% As-Reported).
  • NCC excluding fuel are expected to be flat to up slightly on a Constant-Currency basis (flat As-Reported).

“Our progress continues on a steady upward path toward our Double-Double goals,” said Richard D. Fain, chairman and CEO. “The year started off with a very positive tone and the tone has only continued to please.  We are looking forward to our fifth consecutive year of double-digit earnings growth.”