Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE:RCL) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Thursday. They currently have $128.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Royal Caribbean shares have outpaced the industry year to date. The company expects strong revenue growth in 2017 given solid booking trends. Its ship innovation, technology investments and various profit-generating initiatives should lead to higher yields. Demand is likely to remain strong for the company’s North American and European products and its Asia-Pacific itineraries are also likely to continue performing stoutly. The company has been successful in dealing with the volatility in fuel prices given its environmental efforts. Its Double-Double program aimed at improving revenue yields, control costs and moderate capacity growth also bodes well. Estimates too have been going up ahead of its Q2 earnings release and the company has positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. However, lingering global uncertainties along with negative currency translation is likely to mar the company’s international profits.”

Several other equities analysts have also weighed in on RCL. Stifel Nicolaus increased their price objective on shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises from $109.00 to $115.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, April 4th. Wedbush increased their price objective on shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises from $106.00 to $117.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Tuesday, April 25th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) increased their price objective on shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises from $90.00 to $94.00 and gave the company a sell rating in a report on Monday, May 1st. Deutsche Bank AG cut their price objective on shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises from $102.00 to $91.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, May 2nd. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed an outperform rating and issued a $119.50 target price (up previously from $117.50) on shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises in a research note on Tuesday, May 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $106.19.

Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE RCL) traded down 0.38% on Thursday, reaching $112.96. 1,045,920 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm has a market capitalization of $24.29 billion, a PE ratio of 17.46 and a beta of 1.06. Royal Caribbean Cruises has a 52-week low of $65.10 and a 52-week high of $116.89. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $111.44 and its 200 day moving average price is $102.06. Royal Caribbean Cruises also was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Friday. Investors acquired 9,791 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of 737% compared to the average volume of 1,170 call options.

Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Friday, April 28th. The company reported $0.99 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.92 by $0.07. Royal Caribbean Cruises had a net margin of 16.29% and a return on equity of 15.91%. The business had revenue of $2.01 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.02 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.57 earnings per share. Royal Caribbean Cruises’s revenue was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Royal Caribbean Cruises will post $7.26 EPS for the current fiscal year.

TRADEMARK VIOLATION NOTICE: “Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE:RCL) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research” was posted by Watch List News and is the property of of Watch List News. If you are accessing this piece on another website, it was illegally stolen and republished in violation of U.S. and international trademark and copyright law. The correct version of this piece can be read at https://www.watchlistnews.com/royal-caribbean-cruises-ltd-nysercl-raised-to-buy-at-zacks-investment-research/1464365.html.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, July 5th. Investors of record on Friday, June 2nd were given a $0.48 dividend. This represents a $1.92 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.69%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, May 31st. Royal Caribbean Cruises’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 29.68%.

Royal Caribbean Cruises declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Friday, April 28th that allows the company to repurchase $500.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to reacquire up to 2.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Royal Caribbean Cruises news, CEO Richard D. Fain sold 20,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $109.62, for a total value of $2,192,400.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 967,741 shares in the company, valued at $106,083,768.42. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Company insiders own 15.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in RCL. Prudential Financial Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises by 17.8% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 477,787 shares of the company’s stock worth $46,875,000 after buying an additional 72,120 shares in the last quarter. Dynamic Capital Management Ltd boosted its stake in shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises by 55.5% in the first quarter. Dynamic Capital Management Ltd now owns 35,502 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,483,000 after buying an additional 12,675 shares in the last quarter. Bank of The West boosted its stake in shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises by 0.7% in the first quarter. Bank of The West now owns 34,275 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,363,000 after buying an additional 222 shares in the last quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue purchased a new stake in shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises during the first quarter worth approximately $1,108,000. Finally, British Columbia Investment Management Corp boosted its stake in shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises by 40.9% in the first quarter. British Columbia Investment Management Corp now owns 146,986 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,421,000 after buying an additional 42,656 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.23% of the company’s stock.

About Royal Caribbean Cruises

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is a cruise company. The Company owns and operates three global cruise brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises (Global Brands). The Company also own joint venture interest in the German brand TUI Cruises, interest in the Spanish brand Pullmantur and interest in the Chinese brand SkySea Cruises (collectively, Partner Brands).

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Royal Caribbean Cruises (NYSE:RCL)

Receive News & Ratings for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and related companies with Analyst Ratings Network's FREE daily email newsletter.