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Friday, April 23, 2010

Moody's Raises Lodging, Cruise Sector Outlooks

Associated Press

Moody's Investors Service raised its outlook for the lodging and cruise sectors on Monday, citing more stable credit conditions.

Hotels and cruise lines have struggled during the recession as consumers cut back drastically on nonessential spending.

That trend, Moody's said, appears to be easing.

Moody's lifted its outlook for the sectors to stable from negative. The ratings agency anticipates fundamental credit conditions will be "generally stable" over the next year to 18 months.

Marriott International Inc. reported earlier this year that it had returned a fourth-quarter profit, but that even with more people staying at hotels, room rates have lagged. Its shares fell 49 cents to $33.39 in afternoon trading, while shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. shed 96 cents to $47.33.

Carnival Cruises Corp., the cruise operator, said last month that profits fell 33 percent, partly due to surging fuel costs, but that revenue climbed 8 percent. And the prices passengers paid for their cruise vacations climbed 17 percent.

Shares of Carnival dropped 55 cents to $38.42 and shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. slipped $1.01 to $33.52.