Royal Caribbean share price sinks as cruise company misses revenue estimates and forecasts dip in profit

Caitlin Morrison
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The new cruise ship Freedom of the Seas,
Despite weak profit forecast for this quarter, the cruise firm said bookings are equal to last year's record high (Source: Getty)

Shares in Royal Caribbean Cruises have tumbled by as much as 16.3 per cent today, after the firm missed expectations in its results for the final three months of 2015 - and warned that profits for the current quarter are likely to come in well below analysts' expectations.

Revenue rose 4.4 per cent to $1.9bn (£1.3bn) in the fourth quarter, missing the average analyst estimate of $1.96bn. Net income rose to $206.8m, or 94 cents per share, from $109.8m, or 49 cents per share, in the same period of 2014.

The Florida-based firm said it expects earnings of about 30 cents per share in the current quarter, missing the average analyst expectation of 46 cents, and said costs related to its expansion in China and launching a new marketing campaign for its core brands, would impact profit during the quarter.

The company, which owns the Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises brands, said its bookings are "roughly equal" to last year's record high, and at higher rates.

"Our core brands are firing on all cylinders, our new ships are performing exceptionally well and our costs are well controlled. This is driving 40 per cent plus earnings growth in two consecutive years," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer.

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