Carnival Says Booking Prices Lower as of Late

Cruise operator Carnival Corp & Plc said on Tuesday that in the last few weeks, 2012 bookings have kept rising but are fetching lower prices than before and that the revenue per cabin would continue its "slow" recovery.

The operator of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America and Princess Cruises said net revenue yield, a measure of how much money each cabin generates in all, would be up 1 to 2 percent on a constant dollar basis in its fiscal 2012.

Chief Executive Micky Arison in a statement called the economic environment "uncertain" and anticipates "continued slow recovery" in yields.

Advance bookings for 2012 on the whole are up and have gotten higher prices. But the momentum has shifted of late. Bookings in the last six weeks are still "well ahead" of last year's pace at this time, but commanding lower prices, the company said.

Miami-based Carnival said it expects fiscal 2012 earnings of $2.55 per share to $2.85 per share, compared to the $2.78 analysts were expecting, according to I/B/E/S.

In addition to contending with fuel prices, which were up 39 percent in the quarter, Carnival said unfavorable currency rates would dent its 2012 profit forecast by about $125 million, or 17 cents per share.

In the first quarter, Carnival expects adjusted earnings per share of 6 to 10 cents and for net revenue yields to be up 1.5 to 2.5 percent.

In the fourth quarter, which ended Nov. 30, revenue yield was up 1.5 percent.

Carnival reported net income fell to $217 million, or 28 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended on Nov. 30 from $248 million, or 31 cents a share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $3.7 billion from $3.5 billion.

Shares were up 0.7 percent to $33.02 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange. But they had been up 1.5 percent in London prior to the results being published.