Carnival stock dives toward a 30-year low as losses and revenue misses keep piling up

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%.

the stock CCL,
-23.25%,
which was the biggest decliner in the S&P 500 index SPX,
-1.51%,
plunged 20.5% in afternoon trading, to break below the previous post-pandemic closing low of $7.97 on April 2, 2020. It was headed for the lowest close since October 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 collateral damage from Carnival’s wake, as Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. NCLH,
-18.04%
tumbled 15.3% and Royal Caribbean Group RCL,
-13.1%
slide 11.4% trading Friday.

Year to date, Carnival’s stock has plummeted 63.8%, and shares of Norwegian Cruise shed 43.4% and Royal Caribbean slumped 49.7%, while the S&P 500 has lost 23.7%.

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