Cruise lines have pricing power on Caribbean sailings, say analysts

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Pricing for North America-sourced passengers on close-in bookings for Caribbean and Canada cruises remains strong, analysts from Wells Fargo Leisure reported Tuesday.

The analysts said Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has been out-performing Carnival Corp. in the last four weeks on close-in bookings, which are made about 60 days prior to departure.

Analysts Tim Conder, Michael Walsh and Joe Lachky said Europe is "challenging," but that pricing for European-sourced passengers is stabilizing (excluding currency-exchange fluctuations).

The analysts said they fine-tuned their 2011-12 earnings per share estimates to $2.47 to $3.02 (previously $2.45 to $3) for Carnival Corp. and to $3.30 to $3.76 (previously $3.28 to $3.73) for RCCL.

RCCL is scheduled to report second-quarter earnings on July 28. The analysts said they expect RCCL to reaffirm its 3% to 5% net yield guidance for 2011, and an earnings per share guidance of $3.10 to $3.30.

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