Investment research report for RCL

Table of Contents

Executive Summary
Valuation Analysis
Industry and Competitors Analysis
Financial Analysis
Earnings Call Multi-Year Analysis
Financial Statements Multi Year
Insider Trading Analysis
Management Compensation Benchmark Analysis
Proxy Statement Analysis
News Analysis
Technical Indicators Analysis
Financial Statements Annual
Financial Statements Quarterly
Earnings Call Analysis

Executive Summary

Company Overview

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a global cruise line operator with a portfolio of brands including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises. The company operates a fleet of modern, innovative ships and offers a wide range of itineraries and onboard experiences.

Financial Highlights

  • Strong revenue and earnings recovery in 2023 and 2024, driven by robust consumer demand and pricing power
  • Significant debt burden of over $20 billion, but actively managing maturities and refinancing
  • Substantial capital commitments for new ship orders, totaling over $10 billion through 2028
  • Improving liquidity position, with over $3 billion in cash and revolving credit capacity

Growth Strategies

  • Introducing new, innovative ships like the Icon of the Seas to drive premium pricing and demand
  • Expanding private destinations and onboard experiences to enhance revenue opportunities
  • Executing on the “Trifecta” performance program to drive profitability and margin expansion
  • Focusing on sustainability initiatives and reducing environmental impact

Competitive Landscape

  • Operates in the highly competitive global cruise line industry, with major competitors including Carnival Corporation & plc and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.
  • Differentiates through innovative ships, private destinations, and strong brand recognition
  • Faces industry-wide challenges such as fuel costs, regulatory pressures, and economic uncertainties

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Valuation Analysis

PE Ratio

The PE ratio for the company RCL is as follows:
– Low: -5.027943047011918
– Base: 8.464650484178447
– High: 21.957244015368815

PB Ratio

The PB ratio for the company RCL is as follows:
– Low: 0.8618955907574168
– Base: 3.191003803291075
– High: 5.520112015824733

Due to the highly unstable financials of this company, we are unable to provide reliable price targets. Therefore, we recommend not holding this stock in your portfolio.

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Industry and Competitors Analysis

Cruise Line Industry Overview

Based on the information provided, RCL (Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.) operates in the travel services industry, specifically in the cruise line segment. Its main competitors appear to be:

  1. Carnival Corporation & plc (CCL): Another major global cruise line operator with brands like Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, and others.

  2. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH): A cruise line operator with brands like Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

The cruise line industry was heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as evident from the financial figures provided. RCL, CCL, and NCLH all reported significant losses in 2021 due to the suspension of operations and reduced demand for cruises.

Competitive Positioning

In terms of competitive positioning, based on the 2023 projected revenue figures, Carnival Corporation & plc (CCL) appears to be the largest player in the industry, followed by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH).

However, it’s worth noting that the travel services industry also includes other segments like online travel agencies (e.g., Expedia Group, Booking Holdings, Airbnb), travel review platforms (e.g., Tripadvisor), and others. While these companies operate in different segments, they can be considered indirect competitors or complementary services to the cruise line industry.

Industry Competitiveness

Overall, the cruise line industry is highly competitive, with a few major players dominating the market. RCL’s competitive positioning seems to be strong, as it is one of the largest cruise line operators, but it faces intense competition from Carnival Corporation & plc and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

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Financial Analysis

Financial Strength

The company has a high debt-to-equity ratio, ranging from around 4-8 in recent years, indicating a highly leveraged capital structure which could make it more vulnerable during downturns. Interest coverage ratios have been negative or very low in many recent quarters, suggesting potential issues servicing debt obligations from operating profits. Current ratios are quite low, often below 0.3, indicating potential liquidity constraints.

Potential for Growth

Revenue growth has been volatile, with some quarters showing very high growth followed by steep declines, likely tied to cruise industry cycles. The company appears to have struggled with profitability in recent years, with negative net income growth in many quarters. Analyst estimates suggest expectations for revenue and earnings growth over the next few years as the industry recovers.

Competitive Advantage

As one of the major cruise operators, Royal Caribbean likely benefits from brand recognition and economies of scale. However, the cruise industry is quite competitive, which could pressure pricing and margins.

Quality of Management

The volatile financial performance and high leverage suggest potential issues with capital allocation and risk management by leadership.

Shareholder Friendliness

The company has not paid dividends in recent years, focusing instead on reinvesting cash flows. Share buybacks also do not appear to be a use of capital currently.

Valuation

Price/earnings ratios have been highly volatile based on fluctuating earnings. The price/book ratio has generally been below 3 in recent years, which could signal an undervalued stock, or risks reflected in the valuation.

In summary, while Royal Caribbean is a major cruise operator with potential growth ahead, the financials reveal a highly leveraged company that has faced profitability challenges. Careful risk management and execution will likely be needed to deliver on growth expectations.

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Earnings Call Multi-Year Analysis

Strong demand and pricing power

Royal Caribbean consistently reports strong booking trends, with demand and pricing exceeding pre-pandemic levels across most markets. This pricing power is driven by the company’s innovative offerings, private destinations, and strong brand loyalty.

Focus on yield and margin expansion

The company has a clear strategy to drive yield growth through moderate capacity increases, premium pricing, and cost control measures. This focus on profitability and margin expansion is expected to continue, with the company targeting its “Trifecta” goals of record EBITDA per APCD, double-digit earnings growth, and a teens ROIC by 2025.

New ship introductions and innovative offerings

Royal Caribbean is consistently introducing new, innovative ships that drive premium pricing and demand. Offerings like the Icon of the Seas, Perfect Day at CocoCay, and the upcoming Royal Beach Club are differentiating the company’s product and attracting new customers.

Balance sheet improvement and credit rating upgrades

The company has made significant progress in strengthening its balance sheet, reducing leverage, and refinancing debt. This has led to credit rating upgrades and a path towards an investment-grade balance sheet profile, which will further improve profitability.

Sustainability focus

Royal Caribbean has ambitious sustainability goals, including reducing carbon emissions, introducing advanced environmental technologies, and achieving net zero emissions by 2050. This focus on sustainability aligns with long-term investor interests.

Cautious optimism and contingency planning

While the company is optimistic about the strong demand environment, it remains cautious in its guidance and has contingency plans in place to navigate potential disruptions or economic headwinds.

Overall, the key insights suggest that Royal Caribbean is well-positioned for long-term growth, with a focus on driving profitability, introducing innovative offerings, strengthening its balance sheet, and addressing sustainability concerns. The company’s execution on these strategic priorities will be critical for long-term investors.

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Financial Statements Multi Year

Revenue and Earnings Recovery

The company is seeing a strong rebound in revenues and profitability as cruise operations return to full capacity after the COVID-19 disruptions. However, earnings are still below pre-pandemic levels.

Significant Debt Burden

Royal Caribbean has a very high debt load, with over $20 billion in total debt as of the latest quarter. While the company has been able to refinance and extend maturities, the high leverage poses risks, especially if there are future economic downturns or rising interest rates.

Major Capital Commitments

The company has substantial capital expenditure commitments for new ship orders, totaling over $10 billion through 2028. Careful execution and financing of this newbuild program will be crucial.

Liquidity Management

Royal Caribbean has been actively managing its liquidity position, with over $3 billion in cash/revolving credit capacity as of the latest quarter. Maintaining adequate liquidity will be important given the debt load and capital spending needs.

The company faces significant legal risks from lawsuits related to properties in Cuba, as well as increasing regulatory pressures around environmental and sustainability issues that could impact future costs.

Operational Leverage

With a high fixed-cost structure, Royal Caribbean’s profitability is highly sensitive to changes in revenue, occupancy levels, and operating costs. Effective cost management and pricing will be key.

In summary, while showing recovery momentum, Royal Caribbean still faces major challenges around its debt levels, capital commitments, legal risks, and operating leverage that long-term investors need to carefully evaluate against the company’s growth prospects and execution capabilities.

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Insider Trading Analysis

Long-term Patterns

The CEO (Richard D. Fain) has been actively trading Royal Caribbean stock over the years, with a mix of sales and awards/gifts. His total shares owned have fluctuated between around 800,000 to 1.1 million over the past 5 years.

Other key executives like the CFO (Jason T. Liberty), President & COO (Michael W. Bayley), and other senior leaders have also been regularly receiving stock awards and making some sales.

There is a pattern of executives receiving large stock awards, often in the thousands or tens of thousands of shares, around February each year as part of their compensation.

Insider selling activity tends to pick up when the stock price is higher, with executives taking advantage of favorable market conditions to sell portions of their holdings.

Recent Patterns

In 2024 so far, the CEO Fain has made several transactions, selling a total of over 27,000 shares while also receiving a gift of over 9,000 shares.

The CFO Liberty and COO Bayley have also made multiple sales in 2024, with Bayley selling over 80,000 shares and Liberty selling 50,000 shares.

Other executives like the SVP Pujol and Chief Accounting Officer Holtz have also made sales in the range of 10,000 shares.

The overall trend in 2024 so far has been more selling than buying by the top executives.

Implications

The long-term patterns suggest the top executives are heavily compensated in Royal Caribbean stock, aligning their interests with shareholders. However, the recent uptick in selling activity could indicate some near-term concerns or a desire to diversify their holdings.

For long-term investors, the consistent stock awards to executives are a positive sign that management is incentivized to drive the company’s long-term success. However, the recent selling may raise some short-term questions that investors should monitor.

Overall, the insider trading activity provides a mixed signal – the long-term alignment is positive, but the recent selling could be a potential concern that warrants further investigation by investors.

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Management Compensation Benchmark Analysis

Alignment with long-term shareholder value

The compensation structure for RCL executives appears to be heavily weighted towards stock awards, which can help align their interests with long-term shareholder value creation. The base salary portion of total compensation is relatively low, ranging from around 11% to 33% across the reported executives.

Limited use of bonuses

RCL does not seem to utilize annual cash bonuses as a significant component of executive compensation. In most cases, the “Bonus” portion is reported as $0, indicating a focus on longer-term incentives rather than short-term performance-based payouts.

Comparison to other cruise lines

When compared to the executive compensation data for Carnival Corporation & plc (CCL) and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH), RCL’s compensation structure appears to be more heavily weighted towards equity-based awards and less reliant on base salary and annual bonuses. The average base salary portion of total compensation for RCL executives (24.30%) is lower than the averages for CCL (19.39%) and NCLH (19.61%).

Consistency over time

RCL’s compensation approach appears to be relatively consistent over the years, with a consistent emphasis on stock-based awards and limited use of annual cash bonuses.

Overall, the executive compensation structure at RCL seems to be designed to incentivize long-term value creation for shareholders, which could be considered aligned with the interests of long-term investors. The lower reliance on base salary and bonuses, and the greater focus on equity-based awards, suggests that RCL’s compensation practices are geared towards aligning executive interests with the company’s long-term performance and shareholder value.

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Proxy Statement Analysis

Base Salary Levels

The base salary levels for the executives should be reviewed to ensure they are reasonable and justified based on the size, complexity, and performance of the company. Excessive base salaries can reduce the effectiveness of incentive-based pay in driving desired behaviors.

Short-Term Incentive Plan Design and Metrics

The short-term incentive plan, often an annual bonus, should be structured with metrics that incentivize and reward the achievement of key operational and financial goals that create value for shareholders in the near-term. The plan design and choice of performance metrics should be scrutinized to ensure they are well-aligned with the company’s strategic priorities.

Long-Term Incentive Plan Design, Equity Awards, and Performance Metrics

The long-term incentive plan, typically consisting of equity-based awards, should be designed to motivate executives to make decisions and take actions that drive sustainable long-term value creation. The plan design, the mix of award types (e.g., stock options, restricted stock, performance shares), vesting schedules, and performance metrics should all be evaluated to assess the alignment with shareholder interests.

Executive Stock Ownership Requirements

Meaningful stock ownership requirements for executives help ensure their interests are aligned with those of shareholders. The level of required ownership and the timeframe for achieving the ownership target should be reviewed.

Clawback and Recoupment Policies

Robust clawback and recoupment policies that allow the company to recover incentive-based compensation in the event of a financial restatement or other misconduct are important safeguards for shareholders.

Peer Group Benchmarking Process

The process used to select the peer group for benchmarking executive compensation should be transparent and the peer group should be appropriate in terms of size, industry, and other relevant characteristics.

By carefully analyzing these components of the executive compensation program, an investor can gain insights into how well the incentives are structured to promote sustainable long-term value creation rather than short-term gains. Without the full details from the proxy, a definitive assessment cannot be provided, but the key areas to evaluate from the perspective of aligning pay with long-term shareholder interests have been highlighted.

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News Analysis

Positive Factors

Strong pent-up demand and bookings for cruises, with 2023 and 2024 bookings outpacing pre-pandemic levels in some cases. This indicates consumers are eager to cruise again as the pandemic subsides.

Cruise lines like RCL are ramping up operations and restarting more ships as travel restrictions ease. This should allow revenue and profits to recover.

RCL announced partnerships like providing Starlink internet on ships, suggesting efforts to enhance the cruise experience.

Some analysts are optimistic on the cruise recovery and see upside in RCL’s stock price from current levels.

Potential Risks/Negatives

New COVID variants like Omicron have disrupted cruise restarts and bookings at times, creating uncertainty.

RCL has taken on significant debt during the pandemic, which could weigh on future profits as it needs to be paid down.

Inflationary pressures, especially for fuel costs, could pressure profitability in the near-term.

Cruise stocks have been volatile, with big swings up and down as the pandemic situation evolves.

Overall, the sentiment seems cautiously optimistic that the worst is behind RCL, but investors need to watch for any further COVID disruptions and how quickly bookings and pricing can recover to sustain long-term profitability. Managing debt levels will also be important as RCL returns to full operations.

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Technical Indicators Analysis

Next Week Trading

The recent price action and technical indicators suggest a mixed outlook for next week’s trading. The TEMA (Triple Exponential Moving Average) has been declining, indicating a potential bearish trend in the short-term. However, the RSI (Relative Strength Index) is in the neutral zone, suggesting the stock is not overbought or oversold. The ADX (Average Directional Index) is above 25, indicating a strong trend, but the direction is unclear. Traders may want to monitor the stock closely and consider taking a cautious, short-term approach.

Resistance and Support Levels

The 20-day SMA (Simple Moving Average) at around $151 and the 50-day SMA at around $143 could act as resistance levels. The 200-day SMA at around $120 could provide support. Traders may want to watch these levels for potential breakouts or pullbacks.

Short-Term Investor

The recent price action and technical indicators suggest a mixed outlook for short-term investors. The declining TEMA and the neutral RSI indicate a lack of clear directional momentum. Short-term investors may want to adopt a cautious, nimble approach, looking for opportunities to enter and exit the stock based on the price action and technical signals.

Long-Term Investor

For long-term investors, the overall technical picture appears more favorable. The 200-day SMA is well below the current price, and the 50-day SMA is above the 200-day SMA, indicating a positive long-term trend. However, the recent decline in the TEMA and the mixed short-term signals suggest that long-term investors may want to monitor the stock closely and be prepared to adjust their positions if the long-term trend changes.

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Financial Statements Annual

Financial Statements Annual 2024 Q2

Debt Ratings and Collateral Requirements

Royal Caribbean’s senior unsecured debt is rated below investment grade (BB by S&P and B1 by Moody’s). This means the company may be required to post collateral on certain derivative transactions if the net market value becomes negative. However, as of December 31, 2023, the company was not required to post any collateral.

Significant Capital Commitments

Royal Caribbean has a substantial pipeline of new ship orders, with 8 ships on order across its Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea Cruises brands. The total cost of these ships on order is approximately $79 billion, with $698 million already deposited. This represents a significant capital commitment for the company.

Financing for New Ships

The company has secured financing for the new ship orders, with a mix of fixed and floating rate loans. The financing is primarily through export credit agencies, which provide favorable terms and guarantees.

Litigation Risk

The company is involved in a significant lawsuit related to the Havana Cruise Port Terminal in Cuba, which resulted in a $112 million judgment against the company. The company has appealed the judgment, but this represents a material legal risk.

Other Contractual Obligations

Royal Caribbean has various other contractual obligations, including port facility usage, marine consumables, services, and maintenance contracts, totaling $1.66 billion over the next several years.

Overall, the key insights for a long-term investor are the company’s significant capital commitments for new ship orders, the debt rating and collateral requirements, the ongoing litigation risk, and the other contractual obligations that could impact the company’s financial position and cash flows.

Financial Statements Annual 2023 Q2

Significant Losses

RCL reported a net loss of $2.1 billion for the fiscal year 2022, with an operating loss of $847.9 million. This indicates the company is still struggling to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the cruise industry.

Declining Revenue and Profitability

RCL’s revenue for 2022 was $8.84 billion, but its gross profit margin declined to 25.18% from previous years. The company’s EBITDA margin was only 6.32%, and it had an operating loss margin of 9.59%.

High Debt Levels

RCL had total debt of $23.99 billion as of December 31, 2022, with net debt of $22.06 billion. This high debt burden could limit the company’s financial flexibility and ability to invest in future growth.

Ongoing Hedging Activities

RCL has been actively using derivative instruments, such as interest rate swaps and foreign currency forward contracts, to manage its exposure to interest rate and foreign exchange risks. The company recognized significant gains and losses related to these hedging activities.

Significant Capital Commitments

RCL has a substantial pipeline of new ship orders, with an aggregate capacity of approximately 38,310 berths. This represents a significant capital commitment that could further strain the company’s financial resources in the near term.

RCL is involved in two lawsuits related to the Helms-Burton Act, which alleges the company has “trafficked” in properties expropriated by the Cuban government. The company has recorded a $1.3 billion charge related to one of these lawsuits, which could have a material impact on its financial position.

Overall, the financial statements indicate that RCL is still in the midst of a challenging recovery period, with high debt levels, declining profitability, and significant legal and capital expenditure commitments that could continue to weigh on the company’s financial performance in the near term.

Financial Statements Annual 2022 Q2

Significant Losses

The company reported a net loss of $6.57 billion for the fiscal year 2021, with an operating loss of $3.87 billion. This reflects the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the company’s cruise operations.

Declining Revenues and Profitability

Revenues declined to $1.53 billion in 2021, down from prior years, with a gross profit margin of -73.45%. The company’s EBITDA margin was -160.45%, indicating significant unprofitability.

High Debt Levels

The company had $21.45 billion in total debt as of December 31, 2021, with $19.35 billion in long-term debt. This includes $2.31 billion in short-term debt and $2.70 billion in cash and cash equivalents, resulting in net debt of $18.96 billion.

Impairment Charges

The company recorded $552 million and $915 million in property and equipment impairment charges in 2021 and 2020, respectively, primarily related to construction in progress assets.

Joint Venture Investments

The company has a 50% ownership interest in TUI Cruises GmbH, a joint venture that operates the TUI Cruises and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises brands. The net book value of this investment was $4.44 billion as of December 31, 2021.

Pullmantur Reorganization

The company suspended the equity method of accounting for its 49% non-controlling interest in Pullmantur Holdings in 2020 due to the reorganization and liquidation of the Pullmantur brand, resulting in a $690 million loss.

Liquidity and Financing

The company has taken various actions to improve its liquidity, including issuing new debt, amending existing credit facilities, and raising equity capital. As of December 31, 2021, the company had $3.2 billion in aggregate revolving credit facility capacity, of which $2.9 billion was utilized.

Impairment of Equity Method Investments

The company recorded a $301 million impairment charge on its equity method investment in Grand Bahama Shipyard during the first quarter of 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19.

Credit Losses

The company recorded a $43.8 million loss provision for credit losses in 2021, primarily related to a $243 million note receivable that was determined to be no longer recoverable.

Overall, the financial statements reflect the significant challenges the company has faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with substantial losses, impairment charges, and high debt levels. The company’s ability to return to profitability and manage its liquidity will be critical going forward.

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Financial Statements Quarterly

Financial Statements Quarterly 2024 Q2

Revenue Growth

Total revenues increased by $842 million or 29% in Q1 2024 compared to Q1 2023, driven by a 34% increase in passenger ticket revenues and a 20% increase in onboard and other revenues. This was primarily due to an increase in capacity, higher ticket prices, and improved onboard spending.

Profitability Improvement

Net Income attributable to Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd increased from a loss of $48 million in Q1 2023 to a profit of $360 million in Q1 2024. Adjusted Net Income also improved from a loss of $59 million to a profit of $478 million over the same period. This was driven by the strong revenue growth and effective cost management.

Liquidity and Debt Position

The company had $437 million in cash and cash equivalents and $3.3 billion in undrawn revolving credit facility capacity as of March 31, 2024, providing ample liquidity. However, the company has significant debt maturities and capital expenditures ahead, totaling $12.4 billion through 2028, which will need to be carefully managed.

Capacity Expansion

The company has 8 new ships on order across its global brands, adding over 31,980 berths. This significant capacity expansion, if executed well, should drive further revenue and earnings growth in the coming years.

Hedging and Risk Management

The company utilizes various derivative instruments to manage its exposure to interest rate, foreign currency, and fuel price risks. This helps to provide more stability and predictability in its financial performance.

Overall, the financial statements indicate a strong recovery in the company’s performance, with growing revenues, improving profitability, and a focus on capacity expansion and risk management. However, the significant upcoming capital requirements will need to be closely monitored by long-term investors.

Financial Statements Quarterly 2024 Q1

Strong revenue and earnings recovery

The company saw a significant rebound in revenues and profitability in Q3 2023 compared to the prior year period, driven by higher occupancy, ticket prices, and onboard spending. This indicates a strong recovery in consumer demand for cruises.

Substantial debt load and leverage

Royal Caribbean has a large debt burden of over $20 billion as of September 30, 2023. While the company has been able to refinance and extend maturities, the high leverage leaves it vulnerable to economic downturns or rising interest rates. Prudent capital management will be crucial.

Significant capital commitments for new ships

The company has over $10 billion in capital commitments for new ship orders through 2026. This represents a substantial investment, though the ships are largely financed through export credit agency-backed debt. Careful management of this newbuild program will be important.

Improving liquidity position

As of September 30, 2023, Royal Caribbean had $3.3 billion in liquidity, including $0.6 billion in cash and $2.7 billion in undrawn credit facilities. This provides a stronger financial cushion compared to earlier in the pandemic.

Regulatory and sustainability risks

The company faces increasing regulatory pressures related to environmental regulations, emissions controls, and sustainability initiatives. Adapting to these changes will require significant investments and could impact profitability.

Reliance on travel advisors and global operations

Royal Caribbean’s business model relies heavily on travel advisors for bookings, and its global operations expose it to various macroeconomic, geopolitical, and operational risks that require careful management.

Overall, the financial statements demonstrate Royal Caribbean’s progress in recovering from the pandemic, but the company still faces significant debt, capital, and regulatory challenges that will require disciplined execution to navigate successfully as a long-term investor.

Financial Statements Quarterly 2023 Q4

Strong revenue and earnings recovery

Royal Caribbean reported a significant increase in total revenues and net income in Q2 2023 compared to the same period in 2022, reflecting the company’s full operations and higher occupancy levels in 2023 after the COVID-19 disruptions.

Improved liquidity and debt management

As of June 30, 2023, the company had $3.7 billion in liquidity, including $0.7 billion in cash and $3.0 billion in undrawn revolving credit facility capacity. The company has been actively managing its debt, including refinancing transactions and repayments, to improve its financial flexibility.

Ongoing capital investments

Royal Caribbean continues to invest in its fleet, with 10 new ships scheduled for delivery to its Global and Partner Brands through 2028. The company has secured approximately $8.3 billion in committed financing for these new ship orders.

Operational efficiency and cost control

While cruise operating expenses have increased in line with higher capacity and occupancy, the company has been able to manage its costs, as evidenced by the improvement in Adjusted Gross Margin and Net Yields compared to the prior year period.

Debt covenants and restrictions

The company’s debt agreements contain various covenants and restrictions, including requirements to maintain certain financial ratios and minimum liquidity levels. Compliance with these covenants will be crucial for the company’s continued access to financing.

Potential dilution from convertible notes

Royal Caribbean has $1.4 billion in outstanding convertible notes, which could result in dilution for existing shareholders if converted into common stock.

Suspension of dividends

The company has not declared any dividends since the first quarter of 2020 and does not expect to pay dividends on its common stock in the foreseeable future, as it focuses on deleveraging and investing in its business.

Overall, the financial statements indicate that Royal Caribbean has made significant progress in its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, with improved financial performance and liquidity. However, the company continues to face various operational, financial, and regulatory risks that long-term investors should carefully consider.

Financial Statements Quarterly 2023 Q3

Net Loss and Adjusted Net Loss

Net loss and Adjusted Net loss for Q1 2023 were $47.9 million and $58.9 million, or $0.19 and $0.23 per diluted share, respectively, reflecting the company’s return to full operations compared to net loss of $1.17 billion and $1.16 billion, or $4.58 and $4.57 per diluted share, respectively, in Q1 2022.

Total Revenues and APCD

Total revenues excluding the effect of changes in foreign currency exchange rates increased $1.9 billion for Q1 2023 compared to Q1 2022, reflecting the return to full operations in 2023 compared to a partial return in 2022. APCD (available passenger cruise days) for Q1 2023 was 11,233,489 compared to 7,692,906 in Q1 2022.

Total Cruise Operating Expenses

Total cruise operating expenses excluding the effect of changes in foreign currency exchange rates increased $0.6 billion for Q1 2023 compared to Q1 2022, also reflecting the return to full operations.

Debt Refinancing Activities

In January 2023, the company amended and extended the majority of its two unsecured revolving credit facilities, extending $2.3 billion of the $3.0 billion aggregate revolving capacity by one year to April 2025. The company also repaid $2.4 billion under the revolving credit facilities during Q1 2023.

In February 2023, the company issued $700 million of 7.25% senior guaranteed notes due January 2030 and terminated its $700 million 364-day term loan facility and $350 million backstop committed financing.

PortMiami Transaction

Effective March 31, 2023, the company closed a partnership with iCON Infrastructure Partners, selling 80% of PortMiami for $2.089 billion and retaining a 20% minority interest.

Liquidity Position

As of March 31, 2023, the company had liquidity of $3.9 billion, including $1.2 billion in cash and cash equivalents and $2.6 billion of undrawn revolving credit facility capacity.

In summary, the key insights highlight the company’s return to full operations, its debt refinancing activities, the PortMiami transaction, and its overall liquidity position.

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Earnings Call Analysis

Earnings Call Analysis 2024 Q2

Demand and Bookings

Bookings have consistently outpaced 2023 levels throughout the first quarter and into April, even with fewer staterooms left to sell, leading to higher pricing. Demand is strong across all products and markets, including North America, Europe, and Alaska. The company is also returning to the high-yielding China market. The booking window is extending, with guests booking further in advance and pre-booking onboard experiences and shore excursions. The company is seeing a 16% year-over-year increase in new-to-cruise guests, who are 5x more likely to sail with the company again.

Yield and Earnings Growth

The company is increasing its full-year yield growth expectations by 50% compared to initial guidance, now expecting 9-10% growth. Adjusted earnings per share are expected to grow 60% year-over-year, driven by the strong yield and revenue performance. The company expects to achieve its Trifecta goals (net yield, net cruise costs, and adjusted earnings per share) one year earlier than initially expected, in 2024.

Destinations and Private Islands

The company’s private destinations, such as Perfect Day at CocoCay and the upcoming Royal Beach Club in Cozumel and Nassau, are driving strong demand and yield growth. These destinations are attracting new-to-cruise and younger customers, with millennials and younger generations now making up almost 50% of the company’s guests.

Balance Sheet and Capital Allocation

The company is making progress on strengthening its balance sheet, with S&P and Moody’s upgrading its credit ratings. The priorities remain managing debt maturities, reducing interest expense, and moving towards a fully unsecured balance sheet. The company is focused on achieving its Trifecta goals before considering capital returns to shareholders, such as dividends and share buybacks.

Overall, the company is seeing strong demand and pricing trends, which are translating into robust financial performance and a positive outlook for 2024 and beyond. The focus on private destinations, new ship introductions, and balance sheet improvement are key drivers of the company’s long-term strategy.

Earnings Call Analysis 2024 Q1

Exceptional demand and performance in 2023

Royal Caribbean saw unmatched demand in 2023, with net yields up 13.5% compared to 2019, more than 3.5 times their initial expectations. This led to margins returning to record 2019 levels and earnings per share more than doubling their initial guidance.

Momentum continuing into 2024

Bookings for 2024 are at record levels, with the five highest booking weeks in the company’s history occurring since the last earnings call. Capacity is up 8.5% year-over-year, with less inventory available to book compared to this time last year.

Innovative new ships driving growth

The launch of the new Icon of the Seas ship has been incredibly successful, with “iconic” demand and pricing. The company is also introducing new ships like Utopia of the Seas and Silver Ray, which are expected to further accelerate growth.

Strengthening the balance sheet

Royal Caribbean has made significant progress in strengthening its balance sheet, reducing leverage and pursuing opportunities to refinance debt and move towards an unsecured balance sheet and investment grade metrics.

Cautious but optimistic outlook

While the company is seeing strong momentum, they are not planning for perfection and have contingency plans in place for potential disruptions, such as the situation in the Red Sea. However, the overall tone is one of optimism about the company’s ability to continue delivering strong financial performance.

Overall, the key insights point to Royal Caribbean executing well on its strategy, benefiting from strong demand, and positioning itself for continued growth and value creation for long-term investors.

Earnings Call Analysis 2023 Q4

Demand and Pricing Strength

The company is seeing exceptional demand and pricing power across its brands and markets, with yields up nearly 17% in Q3 and expected to grow over 13% for the full year. This strong demand is driving record bookings and higher-than-expected load factors.

Cost Control

The company has maintained a strong focus on cost control, with non-fuel costs expected to be up only 7-7.5% vs 2019 despite inflationary pressures. This has allowed the majority of the revenue outperformance to drop to the bottom line.

2024 Outlook

The company is guiding for at least $9 EPS in 2024, driven by 8% capacity growth, continued strong demand and pricing, and the introduction of new ships like Icon of the Seas. This suggests the company expects to make significant progress towards its Trifecta financial goals.

Balance Sheet Improvement

The company has been aggressively paying down debt, reducing leverage to mid-4x by year-end. This has been recognized by credit rating agencies with recent upgrades.

Sustainability Focus

The company is making progress on its sustainability commitments, including a 20% carbon reduction from biofuel trials and plans to deliver a net zero ship by 2035.

Overall, the company appears to be executing well, with strong demand, pricing power, cost control, and balance sheet improvement positioning it for continued financial outperformance. The long-term investor should be encouraged by the company’s strategic positioning and financial outlook.

Earnings Call Analysis 2023 Q3

Robust Demand Environment

The company is seeing exceptionally strong demand for its cruise products, with booking volumes significantly exceeding 2019 levels for both North American and European consumers. This is driving higher pricing and onboard spending.

Margin Expansion

The company is focused on enhancing margins through moderate yield growth, strong cost control, and operational efficiencies. Over 100% of the revenue outperformance in Q2 flowed through to the bottom line.

New Hardware Advantage

The company is taking delivery of several new ships in 2023 and 2024 that are expected to drive premium yields. This includes the game-changing Icon of the Seas and the Utopia of the Seas, which is targeted at the short cruise market.

Deepening Customer Relationships

The company is further enhancing its e-commerce and pre-cruise capabilities to optimize distribution, build customer loyalty, and lower acquisition costs.

Accelerated Trifecta Goals

Based on the strong demand trends, the company may achieve its Trifecta targets (record EBITDA per APCD, record return on invested capital) earlier than the original 2025 timeframe.

Cautious on 2024 Guidance

While the company is very encouraged by the current booking environment, they are not providing specific 2024 guidance yet, as it is still early. However, the trends point to the potential for continued strong performance.

Debt Reduction

The company is prioritizing debt reduction, with the goal of achieving investment-grade balance sheet metrics. This will reduce interest expense and further boost earnings.

Overall, the company is executing well and capitalizing on a robust demand environment, which is translating to significant margin expansion and earnings growth. The long-term investor should closely monitor the company’s ability to sustain these trends and further strengthen its competitive position.

Earnings Call Analysis 2023 Q2

Demand and Bookings

Bookings have consistently been higher than 2019 levels throughout the first quarter and into April, with strong pricing. The booking window is back to normal, indicating strong consumer demand for cruise vacations. Demand is particularly strong for Caribbean itineraries, driven by the success of Perfect Day at CocoCay. European bookings are also outpacing 2019 levels, with peak summer sailings trending well. The company expects this strong demand environment to continue for the rest of 2023 and into 2024.

Yield and Margin Expansion

The company is significantly increasing its full-year yield growth guidance to 6.75% to 7.75%, driven by strong demand and pricing. This yield growth, coupled with continued focus on cost control, is expected to drive record adjusted EBITDA and earnings per share in 2023. The company is committed to enhancing profitability and margins, with a goal of returning to an investment-grade balance sheet profile.

New Capacity and Innovation

The company is introducing several new ships in 2023 and 2024, including the highly anticipated Icon of the Seas, which is generating exceptional demand and pricing. The expansion of Perfect Day at CocoCay and the upcoming Royal Beach Club are expected to further drive yield and pricing power.

Sustainability and ESG

The company is making progress on its decarbonization pathway, with the introduction of advanced technologies on new ships, such as LNG, fuel cells, and a waste-to-energy system. The company published its 15th Annual Sustainability Report, outlining its strategy and performance in delivering the best vacation experiences responsibly.

Overall, the key insights suggest that Royal Caribbean is well-positioned for long-term growth, with a focus on enhancing profitability, expanding its innovative offerings, and driving sustainability initiatives. The strong demand environment and the company’s execution on its strategic priorities appear to be the critical drivers for the company’s success.

Earnings Call Analysis 2023 Q1

Demand and Bookings

Bookings have significantly outpaced 2019 levels throughout Q4 2022 and into 2023, with the 7 biggest booking weeks in the company’s history occurring since the last earnings call. Demand is strong across all brands and regions, with North America-based sailings particularly robust, now booked at the same load factor as 2019 at higher prices. The company expects to deliver over 8 million guest vacations in 2023, a record level.

Yield and Pricing

Net yields are expected to be higher than 2019 levels in all four quarters of 2023, with more growth in Q2-Q4 as load factors return to normal. The company is able to raise prices across different products and markets without seeing significant pullback from consumers. Onboard revenue continues to be a strong driver, with over 60% of guests now booking some onboard activities in advance, up significantly from 2019.

Cost Management

The company has been able to reshape its cost structure, with net cruise costs excluding fuel expected to grow only 4.75-5.75% vs 2019, despite significant global inflation. Transitory and structural costs account for 210 basis points of this increase, indicating the underlying business is seeing more modest cost inflation. The company remains focused on continuous improvement and innovation to control costs while delivering a great guest experience.

Outlook and Guidance

The company has resumed providing annual guidance, indicating improved visibility into the business. It expects to deliver record adjusted EBITDA and EPS in 2023, with net yield growth of 2.5-4.5% and net cruise cost growth of 4.75-5.75%. The company’s long-term Trifecta program, focused on deepening customer relationships, delivering best-in-class hardware/destinations, and excelling in the core business, remains a key strategic priority.

Overall, the call suggests Royal Caribbean is emerging from the pandemic in a strong position, with robust demand, pricing power, and disciplined cost management – key attributes for a long-term investor.

Earnings Call Analysis 2022 Q4

Strong operational and financial performance

Royal Caribbean reported strong Q3 results, exceeding expectations with 96% load factors, $3 billion in revenue, and $742 million in adjusted EBITDA. This demonstrates the strength of their vacation platform and brands.

Trifecta program

Royal Caribbean announced a 3-year financial performance program called “Trifecta” aimed at achieving triple-digit EBITDA per APCD, double-digit earnings, and a teens ROIC by 2025. This provides a clear roadmap for the company’s financial goals.

Capacity growth and yield improvement

Royal Caribbean plans 14% capacity growth in 2023 versus 2019, with new ship additions expected to drive yield and profitability improvements. The company is focused on moderate capacity growth, moderate yield growth, and strong cost discipline.

Bookings for 2023 have accelerated significantly, with all four quarters booked within historical ranges at record prices. This suggests strong demand for the company’s vacation experiences.

Cost management

Royal Caribbean is actively managing inflationary pressures, particularly in fuel and food costs, and expects to mitigate about a third of the market increases through various strategies.

Balance sheet and deleveraging

The company is focused on returning to an investment grade balance sheet profile, with a target leverage ratio around 3x. Proactive refinancing actions have strengthened the company’s liquidity position.

Sustainability focus

As part of the Trifecta program, Royal Caribbean aims to reduce its carbon intensity by double digits compared to 2019, demonstrating a commitment to sustainability.

Overall, the key insights suggest that Royal Caribbean is well-positioned for a strong recovery and financial performance, with a clear strategic plan and focus on delivering value for shareholders while also addressing environmental concerns.

Earnings Call Analysis 2022 Q3

Operational Milestones

The company has successfully returned its entire fleet to operations, a major milestone. It also turned operating cash flow and EBITDA positive earlier than expected.

Strong Demand and Spending

Consumers are showing a strong propensity to travel and spend on cruises. Onboard spending is up over 30% compared to 2019, with 60% of guests booking activities before their cruise. Bookings for 2022 are averaging 30% above 2019 levels.

Cost Management

The company is actively managing inflationary pressures, particularly in fuel and food costs. It has taken actions to reshape the cost structure and expects margin expansion in the second half of 2022 and into 2023.

Balance Sheet and Liquidity

The company has strong liquidity and is focused on methodically refinancing near-term maturities to return to pre-COVID balance sheet metrics. It does not have plans to issue equity.

Outlook and Guidance

The company expects a strong transition year in 2022, setting the stage for success in 2023 and beyond. It provided Q3 2022 guidance, indicating a return to profitability.

Overall, the key insights suggest the company is making good progress in its recovery, with strong demand, cost management, and a focus on balance sheet repair. The long-term investor should watch for continued execution on these fronts.

Earnings Call Analysis 2022 Q2

Positive cash flow inflection point

The company reached positive operating cash flow in April, which they expect to be sustainable going forward as the fleet returns to full operations.

Strong demand recovery

Bookings have been meaningfully higher than 2019 levels for the past 8 weeks, particularly for North American itineraries. Cruise consideration is nearing pre-pandemic levels.

Pricing power and onboard revenue

The company is seeing record high onboard revenue per passenger, driven by increased pre-cruise purchases and consumer willingness to spend on the cruise experience. This suggests pricing power.

Inflationary pressures

Fuel and food costs are seeing inflationary pressures, which the company is managing through hedging, operational efficiencies and partnerships. However, these pressures are expected to weigh on earnings this year.

Balance sheet focus

The company is focused on refinancing debt maturities and reducing high-coupon debt issued during the pandemic to improve the balance sheet.

Long-term growth opportunities

The company sees continued potential in the China market long-term, despite the current closure. It also has a pipeline of new innovative ships that should drive differentiated experiences and financial performance.

Overall, the key insights suggest a company that is navigating the recovery well, with strong demand, pricing power and a focus on improving the balance sheet – positioning it well for long-term profitable growth. However, near-term inflationary pressures remain a headwind.

Earnings Call Analysis 2022 Q1

Healthy return to service

Royal Caribbean has successfully resumed operations, carrying over 1.3 million guests with a low COVID-19 positivity rate of 0.19%. Their health and safety protocols have been effective in providing a safe environment for guests.

Omicron impact

The Omicron variant caused short-term disruptions, leading to increased cancellations and weaker bookings in Q1 2022. However, the company expects demand recovery to accelerate as Omicron subsides.

Bookings have returned to pre-Omicron levels, with strong demand for the second half of 2022. The company’s customer deposit balance remains healthy, only 5% lower than 2019 levels.

Cost management

Royal Caribbean has been focused on reshaping its cost structure and expects to return to pre-COVID financial metrics and margins. The introduction of new, more efficient ships will also support margin improvement.

Long-term outlook

The company remains confident in the long-term prospects of the business, citing strong secular trends, leading brands, innovative fleet, and a focus on corporate stewardship. However, they are waiting for more predictable quarters before providing long-term guidance.

Analyst questions

Analysts probed on the company’s plans for changing COVID-19 protocols, the impact of supply chain constraints, and the outlook for the China market. The company provided detailed responses, demonstrating transparency and a focus on navigating the challenges.

Overall, the key insights suggest that Royal Caribbean is well-positioned for a strong recovery, with a focus on cost management, operational excellence, and long-term strategic priorities. The company’s transparency and responsiveness to analyst questions are positive signs for long-term investors.

Earnings Call Analysis 2021 Q4

The company is seeing a sequential improvement in new bookings, with Q3 bookings higher than Q2 and September bookings more than 60% higher than the Q2 average. Bookings from the U.S. and UK markets are now exceeding 2019 levels.

Capacity ramp-up and load factor expectations

The company expects to have 50 out of 61 ships back in service by the end of 2021, and about 85% of capacity operating by the end of Q1 2022. Load factors are expected to steadily increase, reaching 60-65% in Q4 2021 and continuing to rise towards historical levels in 2022.

Profitability outlook

The company currently anticipates generating positive EBITDA starting in spring 2022 and positive earnings for the full year 2022, though they note there are many factors that could impact this trajectory.

Cost management and efficiency

The company has taken actions to reshape its cost structure, including removing older ships and adding more efficient new vessels. However, they expect some transitory costs and inflationary pressures to weigh on 2022 earnings.

Sustainability initiatives

The company announced ambitious plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, including the introduction of a new ship with advanced environmental features like fuel cells and waste-to-energy technology.

Analyst questions highlight concerns around international sourcing, economic environment, and the impact of itinerary changes – areas the company is closely monitoring and factoring into its planning.

Overall, the key message is one of cautious optimism, with the company highlighting strong booking trends and a path to profitability, while remaining vigilant about potential headwinds.

Earnings Call Analysis 2021 Q3

Operational Restart Progress

Royal Caribbean has restarted almost half of its capacity and is bringing more ships back online quickly. The company has focused on ensuring safe operations with extensive health protocols, including high vaccination rates among crew and guests. The rapid restart has been enabled by early preparation and the company’s experienced team.

Bookings for 2022 are practically back to 2019 levels, indicating strong pent-up demand. Bookings for 2021 are improving but still below 2019 levels due to the timing of the restart. The company is seeing record Net Promoter Scores and onboard revenue from the ships that have resumed service.

Long-Term Outlook

While the near-term (Q3 and Q4 2021) will continue to be challenging, the company expects a return to more normal operations starting in spring/summer 2022. The company remains focused on sustainability initiatives, including significant reductions in emissions and waste. Management is optimistic about the long-term opportunity, citing potential efficiency gains, new ship introductions, and the ability to rebuild credibility with both experienced and new cruisers.

Overall, the key insights suggest that Royal Caribbean is making good progress in restarting operations, has strong underlying demand, and is positioning itself well for a recovery, though near-term headwinds remain. The company’s focus on safety, sustainability, and long-term efficiency improvements are positive signs for long-term investors.

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The information provided on this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as financial advice. You should consult with a qualified financial professional before making any investment decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal.