Carnival Corp. and the Bahamas government signed development agreements that pave the way for a Carnival-run port destination on Grand Bahama and the expansion of the company’s private island Half Moon Cay.
Among other things, the agreements provide for the construction of a pier at Half Moon Cay, which until now has been a tender port.
Carnival said the Grand Bahama project will represent an investment of over $100 million, and the development on Little San Salvador, where Half Moon Cay is situated, will be an estimated $80 million investment over time.
Once environmental and other permitting processes are completed, construction for both projects is projected to start by mid-2020.
Carnival and the Bahamas said the projects are expected to play an important role in the country’s recovery from Hurricane Dorian. They said construction parameters will be designed to meet or exceed guidelines for “being able to mostly withstand the impact of a Category 5 hurricane.” Carnival’s plans for both projects were laid well before Dorian.
The Grand Bahama project is intended primarily for Carnival Cruise Line and will be its first dedicated private destination in the Bahamas.
Some Carnival Cruise Line ship call at Half Moon Cay, which is primarily used by Holland America Line.
Carnival Corp. said the current development on the western side of Little San Salvador covers less than 3% of the 2,400-acre island. The new addition will be on the northern part of the island and include a pier able to accommodate larger ships. The beaches of Half Moon Cay will continue to be the main attraction, Carnival said.
Carnival Corp. reported higher third quarter-net income, but reduced its outlook for the 2019 fiscal year and said that business in Europe and the U.S. had eroded since it last reported results three months ago.
Reacting to the mix of news, investors pushed Carnival shares down 7% in mid-morning trading on Thursday.
Carnival said net income for the quarter ended Aug. 31 was $1.78 billion, up from $1.71 billion a year earlier, while revenue rose to $6.53 billion from $5.84 billion.
Carnival also reported higher earnings adjusted for nonrecurring factors, but forecast that earnings for the full year would fall in the range of $4.23 to $4.27 a share, compared to a previous range of $4.25 to $4.35 put forth in June and actual results of $4.26 a share in 2018.
Carnival blamed higher anticipated fuel prices for the reduction.
“We achieved additional cost improvements largely driven by leveraging our scale, offsetting the earnings impact due to voyage disruptions from the combined impact of Hurricane Dorian, the tensions in the Arabian Gulf and the delayed delivery of Costa Smeralda,” Carnival CEO Arnold Donald said in a statement.
“A further reduction in guidance for ticket and onboard revenue worth 6 cents per share in part contributed to by the high level of close-in voyage disruptions was also offset. However, due to an 8 cent a share impact from the recent spike in fuel prices caused by geopolitical events, we are reducing our full-year guidance for 2019 by 5 cents a share,” Donald said.
Carnival said it expects it’s North America and Australia segment yields to be up for the year, but slightly less than previous guidance while its Europe and Asia segment is still expected to be down for the year but slightly more than previous guidance.
It also said: “Cumulative advanced bookings for the first half of 2020 are ahead of the prior year at prices that are in line compared to 2019 on a comparable basis. Since June, both booking volumes and prices for the first half of next year have been running lower than the prior year.”
By mid-afternoon Thursday, Carnival shares were trading at $44.14, off 8.2% from Wednesday’s close.