Carnival Shares Higher Cruise on Revenue and Booking Gains | Economic news

MIAMI (AP) — The long-battered shares of Carnival Corp. jumped more than 12% on Friday as the cruise line owner reported a surge in revenue, occupancy levels and bookings for future voyages.

However, the company posted a loss of $1.83 billion in the second quarter and said the effects of the pandemic and rising fuel prices will lead to another loss in the third quarter.

The cruise industry has been shut down by the pandemic and angered by regulations that were only recently relaxed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even now, a nascent cruise recovery is uneven, with more demand in the United States for nearby cruises, such as Carnival trips to the Caribbean, than for more distant itineraries.

Carnival, which operates nine cruise brands, said 91% of its fleet was sailing again. Vessel occupancy in the quarter that ended last month rose to 69% from 54% in the previous quarter. Bookings nearly doubled from the first quarter and were the strongest since the pandemic began, the company said.

CEO Arnold Donald said some of the surge in bookings came from people who put off decisions during a COVID-19 outbreak earlier in the year, and some reflected pent-up demand after more than two years of pandemic.

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“People feel more comfortable with this virus. They can’t wait to travel,” Donald said in an interview. “We are well positioned because people are still taking vacations, and we have much better value than land vacations.”

The Miami-based company said the loss was equal to $1.64 per share after one-time items. The average estimate of five analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research was for a loss of $1.14 per share.

Revenue was $2.4 billion, below Zacks’ average forecast of $2.83 billion.

Even with Friday’s gains, Carnival shares are still down 46% year-to-date.

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