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Royal Caribbean (RCL) Delays U.S. Cruise Resumption Plan

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The cruise lovers have to wait a bit longer as Royal Caribbean Group (RCL - Free Report) has delayed its U.S. resumption plan further as eight cruise members tested positive recently. Following the incident, the resumption has now been delayed by nearly a month.

The company’s brand new Odyssey of the Seas, which was set to sail from Fort Lauderdale, FL, on Jul 3, is now been pushed back to Jul 31. The company took this decision “out of an abundance of caution.”

The delay was disappointing for cruise lovers as the cruise line attempted to make a comeback after more than 15 months of halt in operations from the United States due the pandemic.

Earlier, the company had announced that it has carried over 125,000 passengers out of which only 21 COVID-19 cases were reported. The coronavirus positivity rate was 0.01%. During first-quarter 2021, more than 55,000 guests have enjoyed vacations through Royal Caribbean International, TUI cruises, and Hapag-Lloyd brands.

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Stock Performance

In the past year, the company’s shares have surged 49.2%, compared with the industry’s rally of 64.1%.  Due to the pandemic, bookings for 2021 have declined significantly. It expects to report net loss on both a GAAP and adjusted basis for the second quarter and 2021 fiscal year.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the company continues to add new cruises. During first-quarter 2021, the company added Odyssey of the Seas to its fleet.  Meanwhile, the company stated that it anticipates adding Silver Dawn to the Silversea fleet during fourth-quarter 2021. Moving into 2022, the company has two ships scheduled for delivery namely — Wonder of the Seas and Celebrity Beyond.

Zacks Rank & A Key Pick

Royal Caribbean — which shares space with Carnival Corporation & Plc (CCL - Free Report) and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH - Free Report) in the Zacks Leisure and Recreation Services industry — carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

A better-ranked stock in the same space is RCI Hospitality Holdings, Inc. (RICK - Free Report) , which sports a Zacks Rank #1. In the past six months, shares of the company have soared 98.8%.

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