Donald on Q2 Call: ‘The Industry is Capacity Constrained’

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“We have highly differentiated product offerings. I know people are concerned about capacity but overall, the industry is capacity constrained,” said Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation, on the company’s second quarter earnings call.

Donald was responding to a question about Carnival Corporation’s stock price, which nose-dived by just under 10 percent on Monday morning following the company’s strong second quarter earnings announcement.

“We know there are concerns about capacity,” said Donald, adding later: “We are here to grow earnings.”

Talking about capacity growth, Donald said the company had sold over 20 ships in the last decade, and would continue to sell one to two ships per year, and more news would follow.  

He also stressed the as the company built new ships for various brands, the ships were for completely different brands and markets, not competing against one another.

“The business is super strong, we just had a record quarter,” Donald continued. “We look ahead, and things seem very good.”

The second quarter numbers for Carnival were indeed strong, with gross ticket revenue growing to $146.00 per passenger day compared to $135.26 last year. Onboard revenue also grew, to $53.23 per passenger day in the second quarter compared to $50.53 last year.

The share sell off was described as overdone in an investor’s note from Stifel.

Investors appeared to be worried about the second half of the year, where Caribbean capacity starts to move up again, combined with what Donald called “hurricane malaise.”

“On a relative growth basis, the Caribbean may be weaker on yields than other markets, but overall we are growing earnings and there is no weakness in the business,” Donald contended.

Other concerns voiced on the company’s earnings call included currency factors and fuel prices, which were up $63 million year-over-year in the quarter.

Donald added 2017 was strong despite hurricanes and the Caribbean and what he described as a “bit of a mess in China.”

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