Casinos & Hotels

Carnival Announces Big Acquisition in Alaska Ahead of Earnings Report

A subsidiary of Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) is set to acquire a port, railroad and associated retail operations in Skagway, Alaska, the so-called gateway to the legendary Klondike Gold Rush region. The company also is expected to report its latest quarterly results later this month.

Specifically, Holland America Princess Alaska Tours is acquiring the White Pass & Yukon Route division of TWC Enterprises, and as part of the deal Survey Point Holdings will continue managing the division’s day-to-day terminal operations and customer relations, as it has done in Skagway for over 40 years. Investments will include support for the expansion of docking facilities to accommodate the newest generation of cruise ships, making a positive impact on the local economy and further benefitting the Alaska tourism industry.

That is not the only investment in growth Carnival has made. Earlier this year, the company said that it would take advantage of newly open ports and tourist attractions in Cuba by adding another 20 voyages aboard Carnival Paradise from Tampa in 2019, complementing the 11 cruises to the island taking place aboard the vessel through next year and in addition to the 17 announced Cuba cruises aboard Carnival Sensation departing from Miami in 2019.

Carnival is set to announce its next quarterly results on June 21. Analysts are looking for earnings of $0.59 per shares on revenue of $4.32 billion, which would represent solid year-over-year growth on both the top and bottom lines. It is also near the top of the range of earnings guidance provided by the company when it posted first-quarter results, which were better than Wall Street expectations. CEO Arnold Donald said at the time:

We are off to a strong start to the year achieving another quarter of record earnings on record revenues and exceeding the high end of guidance. This strong operational execution affirms our efforts to create demand in excess of measured capacity growth and exceed guest expectations once onboard. Our guest experience efforts, coupled with our ongoing marketing and public relations programs are clearly accelerating cruise demand across the board to drive cruise ticket prices higher.

The acquisition of the port in Skagway is scheduled to close on July 31, 2018, subject to customary closing conditions.

Shares of Carnival hit a new 52-week low of $60.30 on Wednesday but closed the day up 1.4% to $61.45. The 52-week high is $72.70 but the consensus analyst price target is $76.52. The stock was down fractionally in premarket trading on Thursday.