RCCL Posts Q4 Profits, Dampened By Slow Wave Season

Aided by strong cruise pricing, net income at Royal Caribbean Cruises clocked in at $46.6 million for the fourth quarter, but a less than optimistic forecast—partially based on a lackluster wave season so far for Royal Caribbean—has tempered enthusiasm. "The early indications from the wave period are less encouraging than we had hoped," said Richard Fain, RCCL's chairman and CEO. "We have seen the usual up-tick in volume, while pricing appears to have leveled off from the healthy appreciation we have seen over the last few years." Although the beginning of the year is down, Fain says, the revenue picture for the balance of the year is stronger. Royal Caribbean estimated it would have a 12.2 percent increase in capacity this year, driven by the Pullmantur acquisition, the April delivery of Liberty of the Seas and a full year of Freedom of the Seas sailings.