(Recasts with CEO comments, full-year outlook, market reaction)
By Uday Sampath Kumar
Sept 26 (Reuters) - Cruise operator Carnival Corp rode out the first effects of a devastating hurricane season for the Caribbean to raise its full-year forecast for earnings on Tuesday and report a better than expected quarter to the end of August.
Carnival said it expects a 10 to 12 cent per share impact on its fourth-quarter earnings due to the closures of around 7 to 9 percent of ports in the Caribbean in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
But the world’s biggest cruise operator also raised its forecast for net revenue yields and the bottom end of its profit forecast for the fiscal year ending November, pushing its shares up as much as 4.3 percent.
Shares in U.S.-listed rivals Royal Caribbean Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings also rose.
“The Caribbean is open for business and is going strong,” Chief Executive Arnold Donald said on a conference call.
The company is the owner of the Queen Mary II and Queen Elizabeth cruisers through its Cunard line as well as Princess and AIDA Cruise lines and calls at nearly 50 Caribbean ports, all but five of which were now open for business.
Carnival has benefited from a recent spurt in interest in cruising, as customers prefer to spend more on experiences such as holidays, instead of buying clothes and accessories.
Net revenue yield, a closely watched metric that measures spending per person per available berth, rose 5.5 percent in the third quarter on a constant currency basis.
Bookings for the fourth quarter and 2018 were above last year’s levels at higher prices, including for the Caribbean cruises, the company said.
Adjusted earnings were $2.29 per share in the third quarter ending Aug. 31, topping analysts expectations by 9 cents.
That came as efforts to promote on-board experiences to travelers helped the company charge higher ticket prices, it said.
Revenue rose 8.2 percent to $5.52 billion. Analysts on average had expected $5.39 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company’s net income, however, fell 6.3 percent to $1.33 billion, or $1.83 per share, in the third quarter, hurt by a $392 million charge related to the write down of some assets in Australia.
The company now expects adjusted earnings for the year to range between $3.64 and $3.74 per share, up from its prior forecast of $3.60 to $3.70 per share.
It also raised its forecast for net revenue yields, at constant currency, to increase about 4 percent, up from its previous forecast of a 3.5 percent increase. (Reporting by Uday Sampath and Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila, Arun Koyyur and Patrick Graham)