American Classic Voyages' (AMCV) first quarter was also distorted by a $38.4 million, or $2.89 per share, write-down related to the company's decision not to renovate and return the Constitution to service.

AMCV reported a net loss of $43.3 million, or $3.14 per share, on revenues of $41.9 million for the quarter ended March 31, 1996, compared to a loss of $4 million, or $0.29 per share, on revenues of $44.2 million for the same period last year.

Without the write-down, AMCV would have posted a loss of $4.9 million, or $0.35 per share, for the first quarter of 1996, compared to a loss of $4 million, or $0.29 per share, for the same period last year.

Philip C. Calian, President and CEO of AMCV, said, "While the impact of the write-down dominated the company's first quarter earnings, we made very positive operating performance improvement in the frrst quarter as a result of the turnaround in 1995 at our American Hawaii subsidiary. On a consolidated basis, we increased our total fare revenue per passenger night from $187 to $206 due to significantly improved yields for our Hawaiian cruise product."

Calian also explained the company had kept occupancy high on its Delta Queen Steamboat subsidiary, including the new American Queen, and had initiated what he called significant discounting programs in the first half of the year as a means to fill capacity in the first and second quarters. Thus, allowing the sales force to focus on sales six to nine months in advance, which Calian said was optimal for this product.

Calian also reported that the company made its final decision not to return the Constitution to service in Hawaii due to the high renovation cost for that vessel. The $38.4 million write-down includes a reduction in book value of the ship and goodwill related to the acquisition of American Hawaii.

The company is exploring the potential options for disposing of the vessel, which is currently in wet dock in Portland, Oregon.

At press time, AMCV traded at $7 7/8 on the NASDAQ, compared to a 52-week high/low of $13 1/4 and $7 3/4.