Carnival failed to escape the gloom surrounding cruise line operators on Monday even after the Miami-based company struck an upbeat note and raised its earnings guidance for the year.

The company, which is dual-listed in the US and the UK, saw its shares drop 1.7 per cent to $46.47, extending its year-to-date losses to 14.7 per cent.

Cruise line stocks have been held back in recent months by concerns over how Zika — the mosquito-borne disease — and the recent terrorist attacks in Europe and Turkey would affect demand for the industry’s all-important Mediterranean and Caribbean cruises.

Carnival sought to dispel these worries on Monday, saying business has remained robust, with bookings for the first half of next year running ahead of the prior-year period and selling “at considerably higher prices”.

As a result of this and lower fuel prices, it expects full-year 2016 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $3.33 to $3.37, compared with the June guidance range of $3.25 to $3.35 and last year’s adjusted earnings per share of $2.70.

“Revenues during the peak summer season were bolstered by strong performances from both our North American and European brands and across all major deployments including the Caribbean, Alaska and Europe,” said Arnold Donald, chief executive.

“Looking forward, we are well positioned for continued earnings growth given the current strength of our booking and pricing trends in 2017.”

Shares in smaller rivals Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Cruises also retreated. NCL, which issued a profits warning in August, fell another 1.9 per cent to $36.72 while Royal Caribbean edged 0.8 per cent lower to $71.45.

In the wider markets, the S&P 500 was down 0.9 per cent at 2,150.68, the Dow Jones Industrial Average also fell 0.9 per cent to 18,094.8, while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.9 per cent to 5,257.5.

Energy shares, however, earlier bucked the wider sell-off in US equities on the back of an advance in crude prices as Opec members gathered in Algiers to discuss a possible deal to curb production.

Transocean shares rose 4.6 per cent to $9.52, Murphy Oil shares climbed 2.2 per cent to $26.65 and Noble Energy shares climbed 1.8 per cent to $33.62, even after ceding some of their earlier gains.

Meanwhile, Staples shares fell 2.7 per cent to $8.31 after the office supply retailer said Shira Goodman — who had served as the company’s interim chief executive officer after Ron Sargeant stepped down in June — would be its new president and CEO on a permanent basis.

Mr Sargeant had exited after the company’s planned tie-up with Office Depot was quashed by regulators earlier this year.

Elsewhere, New York-listed shares in Deutsche Bank fell 7.1 per cent to $11.85 after German magazine Focus reported that Chancellor Angela Merkel had said the German lender would not receive any state assistance as the US justice department had asked for $14bn to settle allegations of mis-selling mortgage-backed securities.

Shares in Pfizer fell 1.8 per cent to $33.64 after the pharmaceuticals group said it would not pursue plans to split into two companies.

Source link