Carnival Corporation Reports 2018 Q4 And Full Year Earnings

Carnival Corporation announced U.S. GAAP net income for the full year 2018 of $3.2 billion, or $4.44 diluted EPS, compared to $2.6 billion, or $3.59 diluted EPS, for the prior year.

Full year 2018 adjusted net income of $3.0 billion, or $4.26 adjusted EPS, was higher than adjusted net income of $2.8 billion, or $3.82 adjusted EPS, for the full year 2017.

Adjusted net income excludes for the full year 2018 unrealized gains and losses on fuel derivatives and other net gains, totaling $123 million in net gains and for the full year 2017 unrealized gains and losses on fuel derivatives of $227 million in net gains and impairments and other net charges of $390 million, Carnival said.

Revenues for the full year 2018 were $18.9 billion, $1.4 billion higher than the $17.5 billion in the prior year.

Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald noted: “We delivered strong fourth quarter earnings and record adjusted fourth quarter earnings to top off a record breaking year. In 2018, we grew net cruise revenue (constant currency) over five percent, achieving the highest revenue yields (constant currency) in our company’s history, and producing double-digit adjusted earnings growth despite a significant drag from fuel and currency. More importantly, we achieved double-digit return on invested capital in line with the target we established five years ago. I thank our 120,000 team members around the globe who encountered multiple headwinds and still delivered for our shareholders a more than doubling of return on invested capital in just five years, as well as our valued travel agent partners whose strong support enabled these record results.”

Key information for the fourth quarter of 2018 compared to the fourth quarter of 2017:

  • U.S. GAAP net income for 4Q 2018 of $494 million, or $0.71 diluted EPS, compared to $546 million or $0.76 diluted EPS, for the prior year. On an adjusted basis, 4Q 2018 net income of $492 million, or $0.70 EPS, compared to net income of $452 million, or $0.63 EPS, for the prior year. Adjusted net income excludes unrealized gains and losses on fuel derivatives and other net charges, totaling $2 million in net gains for 4Q 2018 and $94 million of net gains for 4Q 2017.
  • Gross cruise revenues for 4Q 2018 of $4.4 billion compared to $4.2 billion for the prior year, an increase of 4.3 percent. In constant currency, net cruise revenues of $3.7 billion compared to $3.5 billion, an increase of 6.1 percent.
  • Gross revenue yields (revenue per available lower berth day or “ALBD”) increased 1.9 percent. In constant currency, net revenue yields increased 3.7 percent for 4Q 2018, better than September guidance of up 1.5 to 2.5 percent.
  • Gross cruise costs including fuel per ALBD increased 2.4 percent. In constant currency, net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD decreased 0.5 percent, compared to September guidance of down 1.0 to 2.0 percent.
  • Changes in fuel prices (including realized fuel derivatives) and currency exchange rates decreased earnings by $0.13 per share.

At this time, cumulative advance bookings for full year 2019 are considerably ahead of the prior year at prices that are in line with the prior year, Carnival said.

Pricing on bookings taken since September has been running in line on a comparable basis to the prior year while booking volumes are significantly higher compared to the prior year. As a result, even with higher capacity, there is less inventory remaining for sale than at the same time last year.

Donald commented: “Based on continued strength in underlying fundamentals, we are poised to deliver another year of strong revenue and earnings growth, with booking volumes running significantly ahead of our higher capacity growth and net revenue yields expected to exceed last year’s record levels (constant currency). We remain committed to driving demand in excess of measured capacity growth to continue the momentum into 2019 and beyond.”

Based on current booking trends, the company expects full year 2019 constant currency net cruise revenues to be up approximately 5.5 percent, with capacity growth of 4.6 percent, and net revenue yields in constant currency expected to be up approximately 1.0 percent compared to the prior year.

The company expects full year net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency to be up approximately 0.5 percent compared to the prior year.

Changes in fuel prices (including realized fuel derivatives) and currency exchange rates are expected to increase earnings by $0.14 per share compared to the prior year. Voyage cancellations due to the delayed delivery of AIDAnova have impacted 2019 earnings by $0.04 per share.

Taking the above factors into consideration, the company expects full year 2019 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $4.50 to $4.80, compared to 2018 adjusted earnings per share of $4.26.

Donald added: “Based on the foundation we have put in place we are well positioned to continue to drive shareholder returns as we execute along a path toward growing earnings and return on invested capital over time. We remain committed to the continued distribution of cash to shareholders through increasing dividends, currently totaling $1.4 billion annually, and opportunistic share repurchases, which have reached $4.6 billion since late 2015.”

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