Cruise liner Carnival tops forecasts for 3Q despite 20 percent profit declineBy AP
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Carnival profit falls 20 pct, still beats Street
CHICAGO — Carnival Corp. said Tuesday that its third-quarter profit fell nearly 20 percent, but the results were still better than expected as fuel prices fell and more travelers booked cruises.
The cruise operator also boosted its full-year profit forecast.
For the three months that ended Aug. 31, the Miami-based company earned $1.07 billion, or $1.33 share. That’s down 19.5 percent from $1.33 billion, or $1.65 per share, in last year’s third quarter.
Revenue fell 14 percent to $4.14 billion from $4.81 billion last year.
The results were well ahead of Wall Street forecasts for earnings of $1.18 per share on revenue of $4.05 billion.
Carnival said its fuel prices fell almost 40 percent during the quarter. It also said discounted ticket prices helped entice passengers to vacation onboard its ships, and bookings for the rest of the year and through the first half of 2010 are up nearly 20 percent.
“While the environment for travel remains challenging, we are encouraged by the strength we have had in booking volumes throughout the year,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Micky Arison said in a statement Tuesday.
For the full year, Carnival now expects to earn between $2.16 per share and $2.20 per share. The company previously forecast a profit of $2 per share to $2.10 per share. It expects to earn between 16 and 20 cents per share in the fourth quarter.
The Miami-based company owns Carnival and Princess cruises, the Holland America Line and other cruise lines around the globe. Its carriers operate 93 ships.
Carnival shares climbed $1.65, or 5.2 percent, to $33.65 in morning trading.
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