Shares of Carnival Corp. sank to a fresh post-pandemic low Friday after the cruise operator reported yet another wider-than-expected loss and sales miss, even as capacity usage improved to 92%.
which was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500 index
plunged 23.3% to $7.03, to break below the previous post-pandemic closing low of $7.97 on April 2, 2020, and to close at the lowest price since Oct. 15 1992.
Carnival reported a net loss for the fiscal third quarter to Aug. 31 that narrowed to $770 million, or 65 cents a share, from a loss of $2.84 billion, or $2.50 a share, in the same period a year ago.
The FactSet consensus for per-share losses was 11 cents.
Total revenue soared nearly eight-fold, to $4.31 billion from $546 million, as available lower berth days (ALBD) improved to represent 92% of total fleet capacity from 17%, but was well below the FactSet revenue consensus of $4.90 billion.
Passenger ticket revenue grew nearly nine-fold to $2.60 billion, but missed the FactSet consensus of $3.10 billion, while onboard and other revenue increased seven-fold to $1.71 billion but was below expectations of $1.81 billion.
The company has now reported a loss for every quarter since the fiscal second quarter of 2020, which ended in May, with losses wider than expected in all but one of those quarters. Revenue has now missed expectations for 10 straight quarters.
“We are continuing to close the gap to 2019 as we progress through the year, building occupancy on higher capacity and lower unit costs,” said Chief Executive Josh Weinstein.
The company said cumulative advance bookings for the fourth quarter are below the historical range at lower prices, due primarily to future cruise credits (FCCs), while cumulative advance bookings for 2023 are slightly above the historical range at “considerably higher” prices.
ALBDs for the third quarter were 21 million, and are expected to be 22 million for the fourth quarter. For last year’s third quarter, ALBDs were 3.8 million.
Cash used from operations was $344 million, compared with $879 million a year ago, while cash and cash equivalents on the books fell to $7.07 billion from $8.94 billion.
Shares of other cruise operators suffered collateral damage from Carnival’s wake, but have held up much better over the past few months.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.’s stock
tumbled 18.0% on Friday, but was still 9.4% above its June 2022 closing low of $10.38, and 46.2% above its March 18, 2020 close of $7.77; and Royal Caribbean Group shares
slid 13.2% on Friday Friday, but was 21.2% above the July 2022 low of $31.28 and 69.7% above its post-pandemic low of $22.33 on March 18, 2020.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index fell 1.5% on Friday to close at the lowest price since November 2020.