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Royal Caribbean in Uncharted Waters as Losses Mount

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Royal Caribbean  (RCL) , like the rest of the cruise industry, is deep under water, and in uncharted territory. 

Cliches, to be sure, but an unfortunate reality, hammered home by Royal Caribbean's first-quarter earnings results, which showed steep losses and a deep plunge in revenue as the cruise operator was forced to dock its fleet amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Miami-based company posted an adjusted loss of $310.4 million, or $1.48 a share, vs. earnings of $275.8 million, or $1.31 a share, in the comparable year-earlier quarter. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting a loss of 31 cents a share.

Revenue came in at $2.03 billion, below last year’s $2.4 billion and also below analysts’ forecasts of $2.1 billion.

A silver lining: The company noted that 2021 bookings remained "within historical ranges."

Even so, with no timetable in terms of a full return to operations, Royal Caribbean continues to focus on shoring up its cash position, cutting costs, hedging out future expenses and ensuring it has enough capital to keep itself afloat.

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