MIAMI -- Royal Caribbean Cruises' reported a strong first quarter
as net income totaled $95.8 million, an 80% increase that far
outstripped the firm's 21% growth in revenue, which topped out at
The company attributed the jump to a 13.4% increase in capacity
and an increase in cruise prices. Net yields increased 5.3%, and
the company predicted full-year 2004 yields will increase between
5% and 7%.
"Although we came in at the low end of our net yield guidance, I
don't think anyone can complain about a 5% improvement in yield,"
Richard Fain, RCCL's CEO, said during a conference call with
In other earnings news:
Sabre reported declines in revenue and earnings on an unadjusted
basis but declared its first-quarter results were "excellent" on an
adjusted basis that restated certain 2003 results.
On an unadjusted basis, revenue fell 1%, to $540 million, and
net earnings dropped by more than a third, to $43 million. With
adjustments to 2003 data, however, the revenue line shows a 6.4%
increase and net earnings come out flat at $51 million.
Travelocity's gross bookings rose nearly 28% and topped $1
billion, but the online unit still contributed an operating loss.
Global bookings in the Sabre system increased 12%, to 105
Marriott, reporting for the 12 weeks ended March 26, said revenue
rose 11%, to more than $2.2 billion, yielding net income from
continuing operations of $114 million, a 31% increase. Occupancy
rates across all brands rose 2.5 points, to 69.6%, and the average
daily rate rose 1.8%, to $11.02, Marriott said.
Cendant boosted its first-quarter net income to $441 million, a 43%
increase fueled by gains in its car rental and vehicle services
unit, now its largest division, with quarterly revenue approaching
$1.4 billion. Total corporate revenue was up 8%, to nearly $4.5
Revenue in the Travel Distribution Services division grew 9%,
primarily because of an 8% increase in Galileo's booking fees and
the March 2003 acquisition of Trip Network, which operates Cheap
Tickets. Galileo's domestic air bookings rose 2%, and international
bookings climbed 6%.
American's parent AMR narrowed its first-quarter net loss to $166
million, down from $1 billion a year ago; revenue rose 9.5%, to
$4.5 billion. CEO Gerard Arpey said he is "pleased with how far we
have come over the past 12 months."
Northwest lost $230 million in the first quarter, an improvement
from the $396 million loss reported for last year's first quarter.
Revenue rose 9.6%, to $2.6 billion, while operating expenses rose a
mere 0.4% despite rising fuel prices, reflecting the carrier's
cost-cutting efforts. Northwest ended the quarter with $3.1 billion
in cash, $2.9 billion of it unrestricted.
America West reported a $1.2 million profit on a 10.2% increase in
operating revenue, to $576.4 million. Though small, the
first-quarter profit reverses a $62 million loss in first-quarter
2003, and helped America West end March with $545 million in cash,
its highest first-quarter balance in history.
JetBlue saw its profit fall 12.5%, to $15.2 million. Operating
revenue rose 33%, to $289 million, thanks to a 42% traffic increase
on a 44.6% rise in capacity.
JetBlue's operating margin slipped from 15.9%, to 11.3%, but
remained high for the airline industry. JetBlue ended the quarter
with $585 million in cash and short-term investments.