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DB Alex. Brown Upgrades Two Cruise Lines

Royal Caribbean (RCL) says booking volumes are strong and pricing continues to improve. DB Alex. Brown upgraded Royal Carribean and Carnival (CCL) to strong buy from buy.

Analyst Michelle Russo tells Standard & Poor's MarketScope that the two stocks have tremendous EPS leverage to changes in yield. Russo notes that she has identified a close relationship between improvement in weekly resort revenue per available room, or REVPAR, and the improved outlook for cruise company yields. She says that over the past four weeks resort REVPAR improved to a single-digit decline, the fourth week of consecutive declines. She says it seems imminent that cruise yields are due to improve. Russo notes that Carnival stock is mirroring its performance of the 1990-91 downturn. She has a $30 price target for Royal Caribbean and a $42 target for Carnival.

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