Carnival 4Q Profit Gains Despite Splendor Fire


Despite voyage disruptions, Carnival (NYSE:CCL) reported Tuesday a 28% gain in fourth-quarter profit, as more consumers continued their return to leisure spending and vacations.

The Miami-based company posted net income of $248 million, or 31 cents a share, compared with $193 million, or 24 cents a share, in the same quarter last year, just missing the Street’s view of 32 cents.

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Earnings for the period ended Nov. 30 were also a penny below the company’s September guidance, despite voyage interruptions following the engine room fire of its Splendor ship early last month that has resulted in the cancellation of several voyages.

Revenue for the cruise operator was $3.5 billion, up from $3.3 billion a year ago, ahead of average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of $3.36 billion.

Carnival CEO Micky Arison called the fiscal 2010 year encouraging, noting improved business trends derived from a gradually recovering economy.

Looking ahead, the company expects net cruise costs excluding fuel to be flat next year compared with the recently ended year, with earnings in the range of $2.90 to $3.10 a share, compared with $2.47 a share in 2010.

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