Royal Caribbean CEO is bullish on 2020

Brian Sozzi

Long-time Royal Caribbean (RCL) CEO Richard Fain is so bullish right now, he is already serving up some valuable insight for investors on 2020, with about five months left to go in 2019.

Fain tells Yahoo Finance he is “bullish” on 2020 because booking and pricing trends are shaping up strongly around the world. As is typical with cruise vacations, they have to be booked well in advance of the actual trip. Fain’s data suggests consumers aren’t hesitating to book lavish cruises for early next year, despite growing fears of a U.S. recession, slowing economic conditions in Europe and a cooling Chinese economy.

Fain is putting his bullishness into play by ordering up 17 new ships that will arrive to market in coming years. The strong investment — seen partly in Royal Caribbean’s capital expenditures being poised to rise by $1 billion in 2020 versus 2019 — should help the cruise line operator to satisfy the consumer demand clearly on the horizon.

The company’s upbeat outlook showed up in its earnings day press release on Thursday.

Second quarter adjusted earnings came in at $2.54 a share, ahead of analyst estimates for $2.45 a share. Revenue of $2.81 billion narrowly surpassed Wall Street’s projections.

Fain told Wall Street analysts on a conference call Thursday that booking trends in the U.K. are up double-digits in the last three months even in the face of Brexit chaos. Meanwhile, booking trends in China continue to be solid, Fain said.

Royal Caribbean issued full year earnings guidance of $9.55 to $9.65 a share. Analysts had anticipated $9.64 a share.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-host of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSozzi

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