Carnival lowers expectations as disasters bite

Carnival lowers expectations as disasters bite

Carnival Corporation – the largest cruise operator in the world – has lowered its expectations for 2011 earnings as natural disasters and rising fuel costs take a toll.

Carnival now the impact from conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa region, as well as the earthquake and nuclear disaster in Japan will cost the company an additional $0.15 per share for the second half of 2011.

Some 300 itinerary changes have been necessary, Carnival said, to accommodate developments in these destinations.

In addition, the increases in fuel prices net of currency exchange rates will cost the company approximately $0.05 per share in the second half of the year.

Carnival now expects full-year earnings to total $2.35-2.45 per share, down from $2.55-$2.65 in late March and $2.90-3.10 in December.

In its March guidance, the company underestimated the full impact of these events on its second half earnings.

The March guidance occurred just one week after substantially all the itinerary changes resulting from these events were announced and only days after the Japanese earthquake.

The company has also experienced softness in bookings for the Southern Europe and UK markets, which will result in reduced revenues costing an additional $0.05 per share for the second half of 2011.

However, the company expects to offset the effect of this $0.05 per share in other cost areas of the business. Revenue performance for the North American brands remains strong and the company continues to expect sequential improvement in the second half of the year.

The company will announce second quarter results and more details of its 2011 full year guidance (updated for current spot prices for fuel and exchange rates) in its regularly scheduled earnings release and conference call to be held on June 21st, 2011.