Carnival Corp, the world's largest cruise operator, reported lower-than-expected quarterly sales, hurt by pricing pressure in the Caribbean, its largest market, and a stronger dollar.
The company's shares were slightly up at $44.60 in volatile trading, after falling about 2 percent in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
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Carnival said it expected net revenue yields, which combine ticket sales and money spent onboard, to be flat in the first quarter or rise by up to 1 percent on a constant-currency basis as pricing pressures in the Caribbean continue.
This is expected to restrict growth in net revenue yields to 2 percent in the year ending November 2015, the company said.
This forecast is below investors' expectations, Stifel Nicolaus analysts wrote in a note.
Net revenue yields rose 2.8 percent on a constant-currency basis in the fourth quarter ended Nov. 30.
Carnival has been facing intense competition in the Caribbean, with rivals slashing prices to attract customers. Operators such as Europe-based MSC Cruises has been offering 7-night cruises in the Caribbean for as low as $199.
Carnival reported a loss of $102 million, or 13 cents per share, compared with a profit of $66 million, or 8 cents per share, a year earlier, as it took a $277 million charge related to fuel derivatives and $35 million in other charges.
Excluding items, the company earned 27 cents per share.
Revenue rose 1.6 percent to $3.72 billion.
Analysts on average had expected a profit of 20 cents per share and revenue of $3.81 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Carnival forecast a profit of 7-11 cents per share for the first quarter, largely in line with average analyst estimate of 10 cents. (Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Kirti Pandey)