Quantum of the Seas (photo: Andreas Depping)Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today reported second quarter results, updated full year guidance and introduced its Double-Double Program, a new three-year profitability initiative.

Adjusted Net Income for the second quarter of 2014 was $146.7 million, or $0.66 per share, compared to Adjusted Net Income of $34.2 million, or $0.15 per share, in the second quarter of 2013.  US GAAP Net Income for the second quarter 2014 was $137.7 million or $0.62 per share, compared to $24.7 million or $0.11 per share in 2013.  

Net Yields on a Constant-Currency basis increased 2.6% during the quarter.  This was at the high end of the company's guidance driven by strong close-in booking trends for European and China sailings despite continued softness in the Caribbean.  Yields were up double digits in Europe and China offsetting the Caribbean's softness.

"Higher pricing for close-in European sailings propelled us above the top end of our guidance for the quarter," said Jason T. Liberty, chief financial officer. "While the environment in the Caribbean remains promotional, our European itineraries continue to resonate well with strong demand from all markets."

Onboard revenue initiatives continue to deliver positive results with a 3% increase for the quarter.  This is the tenth consecutive quarter of onboard revenue growth.

Constant-Currency NCC excluding fuel decreased 4.7%, which is 220 basis points better than the mid-point of guidance mainly due to timing. Approximately $16 million of expenses expected to be incurred during the second quarter were deferred to the second half of the year. Bunker pricing net of hedging for the second quarter was $711 per metric ton and consumption was 341,000 metric tons.

Second Quarter 2014 results:

  • Net Yields were up 2.6% on a Constant-Currency basis (up 2.4% As-Reported).
  • Net Cruise Costs ("NCC") excluding fuel were down 4.7% on a Constant-Currency basis (down 4.2% As-Reported), better than guidance mainly due to timing.
  • Adjusted Net Income of $146.7 million, or $0.66 per share, versus Adjusted Net Income of $34.2 million, or $0.15 per share, in 2013.
  • US GAAP Net Income was $137.7 million or $0.62 per share versus $24.7 million, or $0.11 per share in 2013.

Full Year 2014 forecast:     

  • Net Yields are expected to increase 2% to 3% on a Constant-Currency basis (2% to 3% As-Reported).
  • NCC excluding fuel are expected to be flat to slightly down on a Constant-Currency basis (Approx. flat As-Reported).   
  • Adjusted EPS is expected to be in the range of $3.40 to $3.50 per share. This is a $0.10 increase from the mid-point of the company's previous guidance.

Double-Double Program:

The Double-Double Program is designed to achieve two important goals by 2017: increasing the company's Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) to double digits and doubling 2014 EPS.  The company also believes that articulating clear and specific goals helps guide internal decision-making as well as better informing investors of the path of the business.

"Our focus over the last few years on improving investment returns with moderate capacity growth is clearly paying dividends," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer.  "Our brands have never been stronger and we are well positioned for continued step change in performance.  The Double-Double Program sets demanding, but realistic targets, against which we will measure our continued progress."

FULL YEAR 2014

The company has raised full year Adjusted EPS guidance to a range of $3.40 to $3.50 driven by a successful second quarter. Outperforming the mid-point of guidance for the second quarter by $0.16, with $0.07 related to the timing of expenses, drove the increase. Constant-Currency Net Revenue Yields and Net Cruise Costs excluding fuel are expected to be consistent with our previous guidance of up 2% to 3% and flat to slightly down, respectively.

"It is gratifying to raise our 2014 EPS guidance again," said Jason T. Liberty, chief financial officer. "Overall business has been solid and our equity investments continue to outperform, allowing us to deliver even better returns to our shareholders."

Bookings since the April earnings call have been up nicely and the company continues to be booked ahead of last year in both load factor and APD.  Double-digit yield improvement on European and China sailings is helping offset a continued promotional environment in the Caribbean.

NCC excluding fuel are expected to be flat to slightly down on a Constant-Currency basis and approximately flat on an As-Reported basis.  Taking into account current fuel pricing, interest rates, currency exchange rates and the factors detailed above, the company expects 2014 Adjusted EPS to be in the range of $3.40 to $3.50 per share.

THIRD QUARTER 2014

Constant-Currency Net Yields are expected to be up approximately 4.0% in the third quarter of 2014.  NCC excluding fuel are expected to be flat to up 1% on a Constant-Currency basis. Equity investments for the third quarter are expected to increase, mainly driven by the addition of TUI Cruises' Mein Schiff 3.  Based on current fuel pricing, interest rates and currency exchange rates and the factors detailed above, the company expects third quarter Adjusted EPS to be approximately $2.20 per share.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE PROGRAM

In recent years, the company has focused heavily on improving investment returns with moderate capacity growth. Due to the success of this approach, management believes that now is an appropriate time to publicly articulate long-term goals for both ROIC and EPS.

"We are delighted to see how well our brands are doing in the marketplace," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer.  "Our teams have worked diligently to solidify the company's market position while maintaining strong cost discipline.  This has allowed us to target double digit ROIC and a doubling of earnings within three years."

Fuel Expense

The company does not forecast fuel prices, and its fuel cost calculations are based on current at-the-pump prices, net of hedging impacts.  Based on today's fuel prices the company has included $231 million and $949 million of fuel expense in its third quarter and full year 2014 guidance, respectively.

Forecasted consumption is 55% hedged via swaps for the remainder of 2014 and 51%, 35% and 15% hedged for 2015, 2016 and 2017, respectively.  For the same four-year period, the average cost per metric ton of the hedge portfolio is approximately $614, $642, $607 and $589, respectively.