Royal Caribbean plays down impact of omicron on cruises, longer-term results and stock rallies

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Shares of Royal Caribbean Group RCL, -0.58% jumped 1.7% in morning trading Thursday, after the cruise operator looked to play down the impact of the omicron variant of the coronavirus on cruises, saying the impact on bookings has been less than what was experienced with the delta variant. The company said near-term results will be impacted by omicron, but that out of 331 destination calls, it has only cancelled or “significantly modified” 16, or 4.8%. And since cruising was restarted in the U.S. in June 2021, the company said it has carried 1.1 million guests with only 1,745 people, or 0.02%, testing positive for COVID-19, while only 41 people needed to be hospitalized. The company said none of the omicron cases have been severe or required hospitalizations. “We expect [omicron factors] to have a negative impact in the short term but are optimistic they will lead us to a more pervasive but less severe health environment,” said Chief Executive Richard Fain. “Taken together, this should enable us to produce a strong transitional year in 2022 and a very strong 2023.”

Source: Marketwatch

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