Carnival Corp's Q1 results saw net income more than
double while revenue remained flat. Costs were down in several areas –
especially fuel – which helped boost those margins. But cruise sellers won't be
happy to note that one of the areas of cost savings came in the commission
While fuel prices declined 37%, the 'commissions,
transportation and other' category was also down once again, this time by 7.5%.
That key commission indicator declined from $520 million in the 2nd
quarter of 2014 to $481 million for the same period this year.
Cruise Week speculates that Carnival is working hard to shave costs so that
investors will respond with a higher share price. There's a perception that
competitors are ringing their clock in terms of stock market share prices.
Heading into this week, Royal Caribbean traded above $80 per share, NCLH traded
at $56 and Carnival Corp. traded at $48.6.
But looking at it from another perspective, Carnival Corp. stock has been
climbing significantly since last year. Going into Tuesday morning's call, its
stock was up double digits from a year ago, including close to 10% since 01JAN. And, prior to the earnings
call on Tuesday morning, several analysts further upgraded CCL with Susquehanna
upgrading its price target to $56.