(Bloomberg) – Carnival Corp., the world’s largest cruise-line operator, raised its full-year earnings forecast after reporting third-quarter profit that beat analyst estimates as more passengers took trips.
Earnings excluding one-time items are forecast to be $1.84 to $1.88 a share, more than the previous forecast of as much as $1.75, Doral-based Carnival said today in a statement. Profit for the quarter ended Aug. 31 was $1.58 a share, more than the $1.44 average of 15 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Carnival has won back customers after mishaps that included the wreck of its Costa Concordia in 2012 and a fire aboard the Triumph last year that left passengers stranded in the Gulf of Mexico. Under Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald, who took over from Micky Arison in July 2013, the company invested in marketing and safety technology, and repaired relationships with travel agents.
“Our summer Caribbean product successfully attracted 20 percent more guests than the prior year, reinforcing the popularity of the world’s largest cruising region,” Donald said in a statement today.
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Sales rose 4.7 percent to $4.95 billion, beating the average estimate of $4.93 billion. Net income including unrealized gains on fuel derivatives was $1.2 billion, up from $934 million a year earlier.
Carnival should benefit from higher rates in Europe, lower fuel expenses and the end of a price war in the Caribbean, where the industry has added ships, Rachael Rothman, an analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group, said in a note before the earnings were released.
“We may finally be turning the corner,” she said.
Carnival rose 4.3 percent to $42.07 at 9:36 a.m. New York time. The stock gained as much as 4.9 percent, its biggest intraday climb since June, 2013. The shares had been little changed this year through yesterday.