RCCL: Q3 earnings to beat analyst estimates

MIAMI -- Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. said its third-quarter earnings are expected to surpass analysts' estimates, a result of an "improved revenue environment" and higher-than-anticipated cost savings.

In a statement providing an update on the company's current outlook, RCCL said net yields will be down 1.7% over the third-quarter 2001, and it estimated yields for 2002 will be down about 1% to 2% over 2001.

But, the company said, bookings have "continued to strengthen."

Looking to the fourth quarter, RCCL said bookings "continue to meet the company's expectations," but that close-in bookings continue to be the norm.

"The fourth quarter is traditionally the weakest quarter and the most difficult to predict," the company said in its statement. "The trend to later bookings exacerbates the difficulty of forecasting results."

RCCL said it will take a charge of $20 million in the third quarter, which was recorded in connection with a previously disclosed potential litigation settlement.

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