Last updated: 02:23 PM ET, Wed March 30 2016

Carnival Corp. Sees $142 Million Profits in Q1

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Carnival Cruise Line | Rich Thomaselli | March 30, 2016

Carnival Corp. Sees $142 Million Profits in Q1

Photo courtesy of Carnival Corp.

Carnival Corp. today announced adjusted net income of $301 million, or 39 cents diluted earnings per share, with final profit for the first quarter netting out at $142 million, beating Wall Street expectations.

Average estimates per share from nine analysts who cover the stock was for 31 cents per share.

The $142 million net income, or 18 cents a share, was nearly $100 million greater compared to the same quarter in 2015 when net income was $49 million.

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Revenues for the first quarter of 2016 were $3.7 billion compared to $3.5 billion in the prior year.

CCL operates 99 ships under two major flagship brands, Carnival and Holland American, as well as several other, smaller cruise lines.

"Our teams delivered another strong quarter of operational improvement by creating increased demand for our brands and leveraging our scale which resulted in revenue yield improvement approaching 6 percent and the near doubling of first quarter adjusted earnings,” Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald said in a statement. “We thank our millions of loyal guests and valued travel professional partners around the globe for their patronage and support."

Lower fuel costs were also a major factor in Carnival nearly tripling its first-quarter net income from a year ago. Also, the company last week became the first U.S.-based cruise operator in more than 50 years to be granted approval to sail to Cuba.  The company's newest brand, Fathom, will begin seven-day cruises to Cuba in early May onboard the 700-passenger Adonia initially visiting Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba.

Thanks to cumulative advance bookings for the remainder of 2016, booking volumes are running ahead of last year's historically high levels, and at higher prices.

"Our ongoing guest experience innovations coupled with our increasingly effective marketing and communication efforts have driven additional demand for our brands, resulting in a strong booked position,” Donald said. “The lower levels of inventory remaining for sale for the balance of the year, particularly for our peak summer period, positions our brands well for continued revenue yield growth and builds confidence in our full year earnings forecast."

Since resuming its share repurchase program, Carnival has bought back approximately 27 million shares returning $1.3 billion to shareholders in the last six months.

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