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Earnings Roundup

Carnival squeezed by higher costs

December 21, 2007|From Times Wire Services

Carnival Corp., the world's largest operator of cruise ships, said its net income fell 14%, hurt by higher fuel prices and other expenses, but the results beat analyst expectations.

Profit for its fiscal fourth quarter ended Nov. 30 fell to $358 million, or 44 cents a share, from $416 million, or 51 cents, a year earlier. Revenue rose 11% to $3.12 billion from $2.81 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial had expected net income of 43 cents a share on revenue of $3.08 billion. Carnival had predicted earnings of 42 cents to 44 cents.

The Miami-based company said stronger pricing on bookings close to the cruise date was partly offset by higher-than-expected fuel costs.

Chairman and Chief Executive Micky Arison said that a continued recovery of Caribbean business led to higher yields for the company's North American brands, and that its European lines were bolstered by the stronger euro and British pound.

Arison said the company did not expect the weak dollar to keep Americans from cruising to Europe. But Carnival executives said European vacationers' interest in North American cruises would be tempered by tighter U.S. immigration restrictions.

For the fiscal year, net income rose 6% to $2.41 billion, or $2.95 a share, from $2.28 billion, or $2.77, a year earlier. Revenue was up 10% to $13.03 billion from $11.84 billion.

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