Miami-based world's biggest cruise line operator,
Carnival Corporation (
, is slated to release its fourth quarter 2012 earnings results
on December 20, before the opening bell. Carnival expects
adjusted earnings per share in the range of 7 cents-11 cents. The
Zacks Consensus Estimate for the fourth quarter is pegged at 13
cents, reflecting a 52% decline year over year but above the
For fiscal 2012, Carnival has revised its adjusted earnings
upwards in the range of $1.83-$1.87 per share from the earlier
range of $1.80-$1.90. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal
2012 is pegged at $1.87, reflecting a 22.6% decline year over
year and is at the higher end of the guidance range.
Carnival has outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three
out of the last four quarters with a trailing four quarter
average earnings surprise of 118.3%.
Third Quarter Recap
Carnival's third quarter 2012 adjusted earnings of $1.53 per
share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.46. On a GAAP
basis, the company reported earnings of $1.71 per share which
improved from the year-ago quarter earnings of $1.69.
The earnings were driven by higher revenue yields and lower costs
partially offset by unfavorable currency impact. The adjusted
earnings excluded net unrealized loss on fuel derivatives of $136
Total revenue decreased 7.4% from the prior-year quarter to
$4,684.0 million, but surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of
Agreement of Analysts
Revision trends in the last 30 days are skewed slightly toward
the positive side for the fourth quarter, with one out of 11
earnings estimates being raised and none being lowered. In the
last seven days, none of the earnings estimates were revised,
thus providing a maintained outlook.
For fiscal 2012, one out of 11 earnings estimates was raised and
none lowered in the last 30 days. In the last seven days, one out
of 15 earnings estimates was raised and none lowered indicating a
Magnitude of Estimate Revisions
Over the past 30 days, Carnival's earnings estimate for full
fiscal 2012 has remained static at $1.87. However, for the fourth
quarter, the estimate has increased by a penny to 13 cents.
We expect Carnival's fourth quarter results to benefit from a
surge in demand in North American brands. Carnival is recovering
at a steady pace from the Costa disaster and we expect the Costa
cruises to swing back to profitability next year. Moreover, the
company is also experiencing increase in on-board revenue yields
as well as booking volume. Its cost containment efforts are also
However, the sluggish European economy that led to an uncertain
consumer confidence in Europe and higher overall unit costs pose
major threats to the company in 2013. The adverse currency
translations and surging fuel prices are another cause of
concern. Considering these, Carnival expects fourth quarter
earnings to be down by 8 cents per share.
Carnival, which competes with
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (
, currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank (short-term Hold rating). We
reiterate our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.
CARNIVAL CORP (CCL): Free Stock Analysis
ROYAL CARIBBEAN (RCL): Free Stock Analysis
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.