Carnival Outlook

Carnival Corporation revised its earnings guidance for 2011 in its Q1 earnings call to a range of $2.55 to $2.65 per share or a midpoint of $2.60, from its previous guidance, which was in the range of $2.90 to $3.10.  Carnival posted earnings of $2.47 per share for 2010. Howard Frank, vice chairman and COO, attributed the revision to the increase in fuel prices and the disruption of itineraries calling in Northern Africa and the Middle East, offset by beneficial currency exchange rates. Based on its full-year and Q2 guidance, and a traditional Q4, Carnival will have to generate earnings in Q3, exceeding last year’s of $1.62 per share, to meet its guidance.

Industry Status

Being predictably upbeat, this year’s Miami cruise conference came off as a tightly managed affair with little dissent or discussion. Gone are the days when cruise line executives would take each other on or controversial questions could come from the floor.

Opening the conference, Jan Swartz, chair of the marketing committee of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and executive vice president of sales, marketing and customer service for Prrincess Cruises and Cunard Line, said the CLIA member fleet expects to carry 16 million passengers in 2011, up from 15 million last year. She attributed the industry’s further growth potential to its low market penetration, value proposition, innovation and global teamwork. And while she admitted there may be some headwinds, including higher fuel prices and inflation, she expects the industry to continue to weather the storms successfully as it has in the past.

European Build-Up

Before the 2011 European season has started, cruise lines are announcing record deployment for 2012. Meanwhile, the total passenger capacity in Europe for 2011 is estimated at some 5.4 million, compared to 4.9 million last year, according to Cruise Industry News. Next year will see another bump up in capacity.

And there is more: Adriatic ports have joined in an informal promoting the region; the Brazilian port of Santos is gearing up to handle more ships; Indonesia’s Tana Ampho saw its first test call by Holland America; Fincantieri reports results for 2010; and Cruise Industry News provides some observations on the impact of ECA; pending political changes in the Middle East; and (what else?) the U.S. economy.

For the full reports, please read the April 1, 2011 edition of Cruise Industry News, the Newsletter, click here to subscribe.