Carnival plc (NYSE:CUK) Q3 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Sep 26, 2017 • 10:00 am ET

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Carnival plc (NYSE:CUK) Q3 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Arnold Donald

Good morning, everybody, and welcome to our Third Quarter 2017 Earnings Conference Call. I'm Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation & Plc. Thank you all for joining us this morning. Today, I'm joined by our Chairman, Micky Arison via phone from New York, as well as David Bernstein, our Chief Financial Officer, and Beth Roberts, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations.

Before I begin, please note that some of our remarks on this call will be forward looking. Therefore, I must refer you to the cautionary statement in today's press release. As you know, the well-being of the Caribbean region, as well as Mexico and the southern United States, including Florida and Texas, are all very important to the cruise industry, especially for us. On behalf of Carnival Corporation, I would like to extend our deepest concern for those affected by the earthquake in Mexico, as well as Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, some of whom are our own employees, our business partners, and of course our loyal guests.

Being a native of New Orleans, where I lived through a number of hurricanes with my family, I can relate to the hardships that remain after the storm passes. We have been and continue to be active in providing relief for those who have been impacted. We have already made meaningful contributions for the rebuilding efforts in Texas, in Florida, and in the Caribbean, which were matched by the generosity of Micky and Madeleine through the Arison Family Foundation, and our ship immediately provided critically important supplies to several Caribbean destinations quickly after the hurricanes.

Be assured, we will continue to bring many resources to bear for those and impacted by providing ongoing help and support in the coming months. Meanwhile, it's important to note that the Caribbean is open for business and is going strong. I would also like to express my sincere appreciation for our team members, both shore-side and shipboard, who pulled together through these events to ensure uninterrupted operations, especially those employees who volunteer to man our headquarters here in Miami, and those who volunteer to relocate around the country ensuring our business continuity, and of course our crew members. Our crew members who ensured a phenomenal guest experience in the face of the unavoidable voyage disruptions.

Now, turning to our financial results, we achieved another record third-quarter adjusted earnings of $2.29 per share. That's nearly 20% higher than last year's third quarter, which was, itself, record-setting and we exceeded the midpoint of our guidance by $0.11. Year-over-year for the third quarter, strong operational improvement contributed $0.36 per share to the bottom line. That is $270 million more than the prior year, enabling us to also significantly exceed the high end of our June guidance range. Despite ongoing geopolitical challenges, despite itinerary restrictions preventing port calls to some of our most premium destinations like Turkey, despite challenges in China, including disruptions in Korea, despite Hurricane Harvey, despite Hurricane Irma, despite Hurricane Maria, and despite Typhoon Talim, despite