Carnival Cruise Line ships in port

Carnival Corporation announced U.S. GAAP net income of $1.4 billion, or $1.93 diluted EPS, for the third quarter of 2016 compared to U.S. GAAP net income for the third quarter of 2015 of $1.2 billion, or $1.56 diluted EPS.

Third quarter 2016 adjusted net income of $1.4 billion, or $1.92 adjusted EPS, was higher than adjusted net income of $1.4 billion, or $1.75 adjusted EPS, for the third quarter of 2015. Adjusted net income excludes unrealized gains and losses on fuel derivatives and other net charges, totaling $7 million in gains for the third quarter 2016 and $149 million of losses for the third quarter 2015. Revenues for the third quarter of 2016 were $5.1 billion, $0.2 billion higher than the $4.9 billion in the prior year.

Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald noted, "We delivered the strongest quarterly earnings in our company's history affirming our ongoing efforts to expand consumer demand in excess of measured capacity increases and leverage our industry leading scale. Revenues during the peak summer season were bolstered by strong performances from both our North American and European brands and across all major deployments including the Caribbean, Alaska and Europe," Donald added.

Key metrics for the third quarter 2016 compared to the prior year were as follows:

Gross revenue yields (revenue per available lower berth day or "ALBD") increased 0.6 percent. Net revenue yields on a constant currency basis increased 2.7 percent for 3Q 2016, toward the top end of the June guidance range of up 2 to 3 percent.

Gross cruise costs including fuel per ALBD decreased 0.2 percent. Net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD on a constant currency basis increased 5.5 percent, better than June guidance of up 6 to 7 percent, due to the timing of certain expenses.

Changes in fuel prices (including realized fuel derivatives) and changes in currency exchange rates increased earnings by $0.02 per share.

Highlights during the third quarter included the grand opening of the Arison Maritime Center in Almere, Netherlands, named for Carnival Corporation & plc Chairman Micky Arison and his father, the late Ted Arison, who founded the company. The 110,000-square-foot purpose built facility is a major expansion from the existing training center that opened in 2009. The center will provide comprehensive safety and skills training for bridge and engineering officers. The facility includes four bridge and engine room simulators and is expected to train over 6,500 officers annually across the company's 10 brands.

The company also signed a memorandum of agreement with shipbuilders Meyer Werft and Meyer Turku for the construction of three new 180,000-ton cruise ships. Two of the ships, to be built in Finland, will be added to the Carnival Cruise Line fleet in 2020 and 2022. The third ship, to be constructed in Germany, will join the P&O Cruises UK fleet in 2020. All three vessels will be fully powered by Liquefied Natural Gas, the world's cleanest burning fossil fuel. In conjunction with these new ship orders, the delivery dates for two previously contracted ships, one for AIDA Cruises and one for Costa Cruises, will shift from 2020 to 2021 to ensure a measured pace of capacity growth over the coming years.

Outlook

At this time, cumulative advance bookings for the first half of next year are ahead of the prior year at considerably higher prices. Since June, booking volumes for the first half of next year are lower than the prior year, as there is less inventory remaining for sale, at significantly higher prices.

The company continues to expect full year 2016 net revenue yields to be up approximately 3.5 percent compared to the prior year, on a constant currency basis. The company continues to expect full year net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD to be up approximately 1.5 percent compared to the prior year, on a constant currency basis.

Taking the above factors into consideration, the company has increased its full year 2016 adjusted earnings per share guidance to be in the range of $3.33 to $3.37, compared to the June guidance range of $3.25 to $3.35 and 2015 adjusted earnings per share of $2.70.

Donald commented, "We are well on track to deliver nearly 25 percent earnings growth in 2016. With cash from operations expected to reach a record $5 billion this year, we continue to fund our growth and return cash to shareholders. During the third quarter we repurchased $700 million of Carnival Corporation shares bringing the cumulative total to $2.5 billion in share repurchases over the past year."

Donald added, "Looking forward, we are well positioned for continued earnings growth given the current strength of our booking and pricing trends in 2017."

Fourth Quarter 2016 Outlook

Fourth quarter constant currency net revenue yields are expected to be up approximately 3 percent compared to the prior year. Fourth quarter constant currency net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD are expected to be higher by approximately 1 percent compared to the prior year. Based on the above factors, the company expects adjusted earnings per share for the fourth quarter 2016 to be in the range of $0.55 to $0.59 versus 2015 adjusted earnings per share of $0.50.