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Carnival Corp sinks on weak Q4 outlook

Carnival Corporation (CCL/CUK) reported a 28% jump in earnings for the third quarter, as streamlined operations offset fuel and currency headwinds. Though the results surpassed consensus estimates, the cruise operator’s stock fell more than 6% in early trade on Thursday after guiding fourth-quarter lower.

Net income climbed 28% to $1.7 billion or $2.41 per share. Excluding one-off items earnings increased 3.1% to $2.36 per share. Meanwhile, revenue increased 5.5% to $5.84 billion due to higher demand.

Carnival third quarter 2018 earnings
Carnival Q3 2018 Earnings Infographics

Looking ahead into the fourth quarter, Carnival expects constant currency net revenue yields to be up about 1.5% to 2.5% from the prior-year period. Adjusted EPS is predicted to be $0.65 to $0.69. Net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD are expected to decrease 1% to 2%.

For the fiscal year 2018, the company now expects net revenue yields in constant currency to be up about 3.5%, higher than the previous growth estimate of 3%. The company tightened its 2018 adjusted EPS target to the range of $4.21 to $4.25 from the prior forecast of $4.15 to $4.25. The company remains on track to achieve the double-digit return on invested capital in 2018.

For the third quarter, gross revenue yields rose 4% while net revenue yields, in constant currency, grew 2.9%. Passenger ticket revenues grew 5.2% to $4.4 billion while Onboard and other revenues climbed 7.6% to $1.3 billion. The occupancy percentage increased to 112.6% from 111.3% last year.

The cruise operator remained committed to returning cash to shareholders as evidenced by the growth in the recurring dividend, currently distributing $1.4 billion annually.

Also in the third quarter, the company authorized the replenishment of its $1 billion share repurchase program covering both Carnival Corporation common stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange and Carnival plc ordinary shares traded on the London Stock Exchange.

Shares of Carnival ended Wednesday’s regular session up 0.57% at $66.98 on the NYSE.

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