The world's largest cruise line operator Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) swung to a loss in its fiscal first quarter, as rising fuel costs and one-time writedowns offset an increase in revenue, while the Costa Concordia tragedy had little effect on the bottom line, the company said Friday.
The Miami, Fla.-based company reported a net loss of $139 million, or 18 cents per share, in the quarter ended Feb. 29, down from a gain of $152 million, or 19 cents per share, in the year-earlier. Analysts expected an 8 cent loss in earnings per share, according to the Reuters consensus estimate.
Sales increased to $3.58 billion, from $3.42 billion during fiscal-2011's first quarter. Operating income swung to an $82 million loss from a gain of $235 million for the same period last year.
The earnings report is Carnival's first since the Costa Concordia cruise liner ran aground and capsized off the coast of Italy on Jan. 13, killing at least 25 people and sending shares down 16 percent. The company estimated the capsized cruise liner would bite an $85 million to $95 million chunk out of earnings, or 11 cents to 12 cents per share. The Costa Concordia's tragedy cost the company $29 million along with the net carrying value of the ship, which was offset by $515 million recovered in insurance.
Excluding one-time events, Carnival had a net income of $13 million, or 2 cents per share. Writedowns included $173 million for Carnival unit Ibero Cruises' goodwill and trademark assets, and net unrealized gains on fuel derivatives of $21 million.
The cruise line megalith was founded in 1972. It has grown to include 101 ships, with lines running out of the Americas, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Australia.
The company's share price rose 50 cents to $31.45 in morning trading.