Carnival Falls Most in 5 Months on Lower Profit Forecast

Carnival Corp. fell the most in five months after the world’s largest cruise operator lowered its forecast for the rest of the year, saying price cuts undertaken following a series of mishaps will hurt margins.

Carnival dropped 4.3 percent to $33.81 at the close in New York, the most since Dec. 20, after delivering the lower view for the second half of 2013 yesterday. The shares have fallen 8.1 percent this year while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has added 17 percent. Competitor Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., also based in Miami, fell 2.4 percent to $36.89.

The lower forecast demonstrates continuing fallout from several incidents at sea that attracted news coverage of Miami-based Carnival. They included an engine-room fire on the Triumph in February that left 3,100 passengers with limited food and toilet service for several days.

Full-year profit will total $1.45 to $1.65 a share, Carnival said yesterday in a statement. That’s down from a previous forecast of $1.80 to $2.10. Analysts were projecting $1.99, the average of 27 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

The company began cutting prices to fill cabins, dropping the fare for some trips in April to as little as $38 a night per person. While bookings increased, the amount of revenue captured from each customer has declined, Carnival said yesterday. Cancellations were also higher than expected, the company said.

Higher fuel and marketing costs, as well as less-favorable exchange rates, will also crimp profit, the company said.

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