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Royal Caribbean Rises Most in Six Months on View Affirmation

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., the cruise operator which saw guests affected by a stomach virus on one of its ships last month, advanced the most in six months after reaffirming its 2013 profit forecast.

The stock advanced 5.2 percent to $36.07 at the close in New York, for the biggest one-day increase since Oct. 25. The shares have gained 6.1 percent this year, compared with an 11 percent gain for the Russell 1000 Index.

The cruise industry has been beset by issues in recent months. Royal Caribbean in March said 105 passengers on its Vision of the Seas vessel were sickened with a bug thought to be norovirus. Rival Carnival Corp. said this month it will spend as much as $700 million on fire protection and backup systems after at least three incidents on ships at sea this year.

“The company expects that negative effects from the adverse industry media coverage in March” will be offset by favorable performance in the first quarter, according to a statement from Miami-based Royal Caribbean today. “Despite the difficult economic news in the EU, demand from European-sourced guests strengthened in early February,” the company said.

Annual earnings per share will be $2.30 to $2.50, Royal Caribbean reiterated today. Analysts projected $2.44, according to the average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

First-quarter net income rose 62 percent to $76.2 million, or 35 cents a share, from $46.9 million, or 21 cents, a year earlier. Revenue increased 4.2 percent to $1.91 billion, topping estimates for $1.90 billion.

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