Carnival (CCL) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

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Carnival (NYSE:CCL) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Carnival's planned launch of new ships and its strategy to tap into the fast-growing Asian markets are likely to prove beneficial going ahead. The company also believes that it is well poised for continued earnings growth, given the current strength in its bookings along with pricing trends for the year. Also, the rollout of the company’s new state-of-the-art revenue-management system, YODA is likely to drive revenues. The company's market leading position offers a cost advantage, allowing it to generate higher return on investment than smaller companies. However, shares of Carnival have underperformed the industry in the past year. Higher costs relating to additional investments this year also remain a threat. Continual strengthening of the U.S. dollar against the functional currencies of the company’s foreign operations is likely to adversely impact the company’s results.”

A number of other equities analysts have also issued reports on the stock. ValuEngine lowered shares of Carnival from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 16th. Stifel Nicolaus reduced their price target on shares of Carnival from $78.00 to $76.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, September 28th. Macquarie set a $55.00 price target on shares of Carnival and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, September 28th. Credit Suisse Group set a $75.00 price target on shares of Carnival and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 13th. Finally, Deutsche Bank cut their target price on shares of Carnival from $68.00 to $65.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a report on Friday, September 28th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $72.93.

CCL traded up $0.52 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $56.73. 54,850 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,662,105. Carnival has a 1 year low of $53.47 and a 1 year high of $72.70. The company has a current ratio of 0.22, a quick ratio of 0.17 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34. The firm has a market capitalization of $29.68 billion, a PE ratio of 14.85, a P/E/G ratio of 0.86 and a beta of 1.02.

Carnival (NYSE:CCL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, September 27th. The company reported $2.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.32 by $0.04. Carnival had a net margin of 17.15% and a return on equity of 12.30%. The company had revenue of $5.84 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.80 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $2.29 EPS. Carnival’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.8% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts predict that Carnival will post 4.26 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, General Counsel Arnaldo Perez sold 7,000 shares of Carnival stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.26, for a total transaction of $449,820.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 23.80% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CCL. Bessemer Group Inc. increased its stake in Carnival by 202.9% during the third quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 2,096 shares of the company’s stock worth $134,000 after purchasing an additional 1,404 shares during the period. Belpointe Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Carnival during the third quarter worth approximately $134,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Carnival during the second quarter worth approximately $124,000. Girard Partners LTD. purchased a new stake in shares of Carnival during the third quarter worth approximately $148,000. Finally, Csenge Advisory Group purchased a new stake in shares of Carnival during the third quarter worth approximately $150,000. 75.85% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Carnival

Carnival Corporation operates as a leisure travel and cruise company. It offers cruises under the Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, and Seabourn brands in North America; and AIDA, Costa, P&O Cruises (Australia), Cunard, and P&O Cruises (UK) brands in Europe, Australia, and Asia.

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Analyst Recommendations for Carnival (NYSE:CCL)

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