updated 10/4/2004 11:04:51 AM ET 2004-10-04T15:04:51

The recent slew of hurricanes disrupted Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. sailings, and will cut into profits in both the third and fourth quarters of 2004, the huge cruise company said Monday.

The hurricanes will cost the company 10 cents per share in the third quarter, and 2 cents to 3 cents in the fourth quarter, Royal Caribbean said. The company had earlier said Hurricane Frances would cost 7 cents to 9 cents in the third quarter.

Strong bookings for the summer partially mitigated the hurricanes’ impact. In the third quarter, net revenue yields, a key performance gauge measuring revenue from cabin berths after cost of air transportation and travel agent commissions, were expected to increase slightly more than the company’s earlier forecast of 10 to 11 percent, Royal Caribbean reported.

Also offsetting the third-quarter impact was a shift in the timing of certain expenses from the third to fourth quarter, the company said.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were anticipating a profit of $1.25 a share in the third quarter and a loss of 4 cents a share in the fourth quarter.

The Miami-based company operates Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruise brands.

Earnings per share for 2004 were expected to be in the range of $2.25 and $2.35, the company reported. Analysts had been expecting earnings of $2.25 a share for the year.

In morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange, Royal Caribbean shares were up $1.43, or 3.2 percent, to $45.77, approaching its March high of $46.92. The shares have been rising from under $40 in mid-August.

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