My name is Rick, and I'll be your cruise director today.
Let me walk you through this morning's fourth-quarter report from Carnival
Let's start at the top of the ship, where revenue climbed 11% higher to $3.1 billion. That's a combination of a 13% spike in ticketing, weighed down by a more modest 9% increase in on-board spending.
You're probably thinking that the trend of guests spending less on board than they are on their actual berths doesn't bode well for a company like Steiner
What's that? Is there a question in the back? You want to know why we're a slave to energy prices, just like landlubber and jet travel options? You can't be serious, sir. Do you see a sail? Do you think we've got hamster wheels below generating the power to charge your electric razor? We can't run these boats off the gluttony of tonight's midnight buffet.
Our fuel prices have actually shot up by 37% over the past year. It's a substantial jump, and if you follow me down the spiral staircase to the bottom line, you'll see what I'm talking about. Fuel costs have gone from swallowing up 8% of our net revenues a year ago to 11% this past quarter.
When you couple that with a spike in our drydock expenses, you'll find that we only earned $0.44 a share for the quarter. Yes, that's less than the $0.51 a share we generated a year ago. Don't forget to tip generously on the way out.
Let's conclude the tour by checking in with the ship's navigator to see where we're headed. Now where did I put those binoculars? Oh, here.
Nice. Bookings are coming in strong so far in fiscal 2008. Passengers are paying more, too. It's going to be a good year, as we grow capacity by 9%. We have five new ships coming online, mostly in our booming European operations.
We won't be able to steer our way around the fuel-price storm. All of our peers, including Royal Caribbean
It may not seem like a lot, but at least we're coasting in the right direction. And for you value hounds on board, you'll be happy to know that shares of Steiner, Royal Caribbean, and even my beloved Carnival are trading at just 13-14 times next year's projected profitability.
That concludes our tour. Feel free to explore the ship at your leisure. Got that one too, ma'am? Excellent.
Cruise through related Foolishness:
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz lives in South Florida, where cruising is downright economical. He has cruised with all four of the operators mentioned in this story, but owns shares only in Disney. He is part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool's disclosure policy keeps a life preserver handy.