Analyst Notes Caribbean Pricing Upswing

On the heels of Royal Caribbean International's second quarter numbers released on Thursday, A.G. Edwards analyst Tim Conder issued a "Buy" rating of the cruise operator, premised on up trends that should benefit the entire industry. "Our belief is that Caribbean pricing has bottomed and is starting to gradually improve based on our pricing surveys," Conder writes in a recent report, adding that cruises, relative to other land-based vacation alternatives, is again assisting the price rebound. Conder does note that cruise consumers below the median annual income of $84,000 will continue to be squeezed by economic variables, but "that since 1978, consumers' plans to take a vacation are only 15 percent correlated to consumer confidence."

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