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Carnival's troubled cruise ships sink its profit

The Carnival Breeze
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The Carnival Breeze

Carnival, the world's largest cruise operator, warned it could report an adjusted loss for the current quarter after posting a 30 percent fall in its third-quarter profit, hurt by a series of mishaps on its cruise liners.

Carnival's shares fell as much as 8 percent in early trading Tuesday. What is the stock doing now? (Click here to get the latest quotes for Carnival.)

The company said it expects adjusted per-share results for the current quarter to be in the range of a loss of 3 cents to a profit of 3 cents. Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 9 cents per share.

Carnival, which operates more than 100 cruise ships, had reported adjusted earnings of 14 cents per share in the same period a year ago.

A spate of mishaps on the company's cruise ships that started in the spring has dented demand for Carnival's vacation cruises and slashed revenue per cabin.

In March, the company cut short a Caribbean cruise after an engine problem idled its Carnival Dream ship in St. Maarten. A month earlier, its Carnival Triumph was adrift for days in the Gulf of Mexico after an engine fire, and passengers described an overpowering stench as toilets overflowed.

(Read more: Dirty ship, sick passengers: Inside the Carnival Triumph)

Net revenue yields, which blend ticket sales and money spent onboard, fell 3.8 percent on a constant currency basis in the third quarter. The company said it expects fourth-quarter net revenue yields to fall 3 to 4 percent compared with a year earlier.

Bookings for the rest of 2013 are also behind last year's pace even though the company has cut ticket prices, Carnival said.

The company, which operates the Carnival, Holland America and Costa cruise lines, reported net income of $934 million, or $1.20 per share, for the quarter ended Aug. 31, down from $1.33 billion, or $1.71 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, Carnival earned $1.38 per share and topped analysts' expectations by 8 cents, helped by lower unit costs and the timing of advertising expenses.

Revenue rose marginally to $4.73 billion and beat Wall Street's expectations of $4.65 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Read more: Carnival names new CEO)

—By Reuters.

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