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Carnival 4Q net income rises as revenue improves (AP)

NEW YORK – Carnival Corp.’s fourth-quarter net income climbed 29 percent, the company reported Tuesday, with revenue improving as an economic recovery allowed cruise operators to demand higher prices.

People are again feeling safe enough to plunk down thousands to travel at sea with the recession’s harshest effects beginning to fade for many.

“All-in-all, 2010 was an encouraging year with improved business trends from a gradually recovering economy,” Carnival Chairman and CEO Micky Arison said.

The cruise operator earned $248 million, or 31 cents per share during the quarter, compared with $193 million, or 24 cents per share, a year ago.

Miami’s Carnival cautioned last month that a fire that left the Carnival Splendor adrift off Mexico’s coast for three days would lower its earnings by 7 cents per share.

Still, the results met the expectations of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. Analysts’ estimates normally omit one-time items.

Carnival’s stock gained $1.37, or 3.2 percent, to $44.62 in Tuesday morning trading after reaching a 52-week high of $45.26.

JPMorgan analyst Kevin Milota said the performance was a strong barometer for cruise demand.

Chief Operating Officer Howard Frank said during a conference call that overall demand for cruises continues to be strong, with the company pleased with booking trends and pricing — even though neither have reached pre-recession levels.

Revenue for the period ended Nov. 30 rose 7 percent to $3.5 billion from $3.28 billion, topping Wall Street’s $3.36 billion.

Net revenue yield, which measures the amount a cruise company makes from its passengers after removing expenses, rose 3.9 percent in the quarter, surpassing Carnival’s outlook of 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent.

Fourth-quarter capacity rose 5 percent, with most gains coming in Europe, Chief Financial Officer David Bernstein said.

For the year, Carnival’s net income increased 11 percent to $1.98 billion, or $2.47 per share, compared with $1.79 billion, or $2.24 per share, in the previous year.

Annual revenue rose 8 percent to $14.47 billion from $13.46 billion.

Carnival, which operates Princess Cruises, Holland America Line and Carnival Cruise Lines, predicts 2011 earnings in a range of $2.90 to $3.10 per share.

The company said its cumulative advance bookings for next year are at higher prices, with slightly lower occupancies than a year earlier. Bookings for both North American and European brands are improving, according to Arison.

“We are optimistic these positive trends are an indicator of a strong wave season, our heaviest booking period which begins in early January,” he said.

Carnival expects its first-quarter earnings between 15 and 19 cents per share.

Analysts anticipate 2011 net income of $2.92 per share and first-quarter earnings of 24 cents per share.

Carnival operates 98 ships, with 10 new vessels set to be delivered between March 2011 and May 2014.

The breaking news, Carnival 4Q net income rises as revenue improves
(AP)
quoted from US Economy

Short URL: http://www.usnews9.com/?p=4987

Posted by on Dec 23 2010. Filed under Business. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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