Carnival Corporation has annnounced higher net income of $1.4 billion, or $1.75 diluted earnings per share, for the third quarter of 2015, compared with $1.2 billion, or $1.58, during the same period a year ago. Revenues for the third quarter of 2015 were $4.9 billion, in line with the prior year.
Arnold Donald, Carnival Corporation's president and CEO, said the performance was the strongest of any quarter on record despite a slight drag from the net impact of fuel prices and currency: "Clearly our ongoing investments in the guest experience, combined with our global marketing and public relations efforts along with our initiatives to leverage our scale are having a positive impact."
On a constant dollar basis, net revenue yields increased 4.3 percent for the third quarter 2015, which was better than the company's June guidance of up 2 to 3 percent. Gross revenue yields decreased 2.1 percent in current dollars.
Net cruise costs, excluding fuel, increased 1 percent in constant dollars, better than June guidance of up 2 to 3 percent due to the timing of certain expenses. Gross cruise costs including fuel decreased 9 percent.
Fuel prices declined 33 percent, to $439 per metric ton, for the third quarter 2015, from $650 per metric ton in the same quarter the previous year. They were also less than the company's June guidance of $492 per metric ton.
Fuel consumption decreased 2 percent in the third quarter, compared with the same quarter in 2014.
Forward Outlook & Booking Volumes
Based on the strength in third quarter net revenue yields and current booking trends, Carnival Corporation increased its expectations for the full year 2015 net revenue yields. The company now expects revenue yields to be up approximately 4 percent compared to the prior year, versus previous guidance of up 3 to 4 percent.
Carnival Corp. also says full year 2015 net cruise costs (excluding fuel) to be up approximately 3.5 percent compared to the prior year. Shareholders can expect annual earnings per share in the range of $2.56 to $2.60, better than the June guidance range of $2.35 to $2.50, and better than the $1.93 posted in 2014.
“In 2015, we are on track to achieve a nearly 35 percent earnings improvement and we are accelerating progress toward achieving double digit return on invested capital in the next three to four years," said Donald. "Our improved performance has driven even stronger operating cash, which is expected to exceed $4 billion this year. We remain committed to further enhancing shareholder returns as demonstrated by our recent 20 percent increase in quarterly dividends.”
During the last quarter, fleetwide booking volumes for the first half of 2016 were running nearly 20 percent higher than the prior year relative to a capacity increase of less than 3 percent.
More good news? Currently, cumulative advance bookings for the first half of 2016 are well ahead of last year at lower prices.
“Looking forward to 2016, we have driven a significant lengthening of the booking curve and have less inventory remaining for the first half of 2016 than at this time last year, which bodes well for continued year-over-year revenue yield improvement," Donald said.