Categories Analysis, Leisure & Entertainment

Carnival Corporation (CCL): Four factors that bode well for this cruise operator

For the full year of 2023, Carnival expects capacity to grow 4.5% compared to 2019

Shares of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE: CCL) were up over 5% on Wednesday. The stock has gained 22% year-to-date. There is a positive sentiment around the company’s prospects after it delivered better-than-expected results for the first quarter of 2023 earlier this week. Here’s a look at four factors that bode well for this cruise operator:

Revenue improvement

Carnival reported revenue of $4.4 billion for the first quarter of 2023, which represented 95% of 2019 levels. This was an improvement from the fourth quarter of 2022, which stood at 80% of 2019 levels and a further gain from the third quarter of 2022, which was 66% of 2019 levels.

Narrower losses

In Q1 2023, Carnival delivered a net loss of $693 million, or $0.55 per share, on a GAAP basis. Adjusted net loss was $690 million, or $0.55 per share. This was narrower than the guidance range of net loss of $750-850 million provided in December.

Strength in bookings  

Carnival continues to see an improvement in demand, with the company achieving its highest-ever quarterly booking volumes in its history in Q1. The booking window has been returning to historical patterns, which is indicative of a strengthening demand environment. The booking curve for the North America and Australia (NAA) segment was similar to the peak levels in 2019 while for the Europe segment, it was over 80% recovered from 2019 levels.

On its quarterly conference call, Carnival stated that for the remainder of 2023, its cumulative advanced booked position is at higher ticket prices normalized for future cruise credits (FCCs) compared to strong 2019 pricing with booked occupancy that is solidly in the higher end of the historical range.


For the full year of 2023, Carnival expects capacity to grow 4.5% compared to 2019. Occupancy is expected to be 100% or higher compared to 2019. In terms of pricing, the company expects net per diems to be up 3-4% on a constant currency basis compared to 2019 while on a reported basis, it is expected to be up 1-2%.

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