Carnival Share Prices Sink After Earnings Report, 2014 Outlook
Shares of Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL) took a hit on Tuesday, after the company announced its first quarter earnings results.
Carnival, the world's largest cruise line operator, reported a net loss of $15 million - or two cents per share for the quarter, compared to a $37 million or five cents per share - profit during the same time period a year earlier.
First quarter revenues were $3.6 billion, which the company said was in line with the prior year.
Carnival President and CEO Arnold Donald said the earnings picture was better than anticipated, compared to December's guidance – due to improved ticket sales.
“We see progress with our continental European brands and continue to be pleased with Carnival Cruise Lines’ pace of improvement,” he said in a press release. “Exciting product innovations and strategic marketing initiatives at Carnival Cruise Lines have driven strong close-in demand resulting in sequential improvement in year-over-year quarterly ticket prices for the brand.”
Donald said booking volume for the rest of 2014 is up nearly 20 percent globally, “albeit at lower prices.”
Carnival currently operates 101 ships, with eight new vessels scheduled for delivery between now and 2016, under ten different cruise line brands worldwide. It's also been dealing with a weakened global economy, higher fuel prices – and a series of high-profile accidents and mishaps on its ships over the past several years – including the wreck of its Costa Concordia ship off Italy in 2012, at the cost of 32 lives. Those events haven't helped the cruise industry's image, nor its bottom line.
Speaking during Tuesday's earnings call, Donald said public perception of the company has recovered from the recent negative publicity, while interest in cruise holidays is on the rise – due in part to a $600 million advertising campaign this year across all of Carnival's brands, with the focus on those consumers who are “new to cruising.”
Shares of Carnival fell 3.1 percent on Tuesday, to $38.77, after the earnings report.
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