Zacks Investment Research Lowers Carnival Corporation (CCL) to Hold

Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday, August 30th.

According to Zacks, “Carnival shares have outpaced the industry in the past year. Given burgeoning demand for cruise travel in 2017, the addition of new ships to its fleet bodes well. Carnival believes that it is well positioned for continued earnings growth, given the current strength in its bookings along with pricing trends for the year. Notably, its brand building efforts together with other marketing activities are driving bookings. Its strategy of growing beyond familiar itineraries and capitalizing on fast growing markets also bodes well. New onboard product offerings and strategic initiatives are expected to drive onboard yield gains. Cost containment efforts like lower fuel consumption could also aid profits. However, adverse forex translations, higher costs along with macroeconomic issues in key operating regions remain headwinds. A potential increase in fuel costs can also hamper its profitability.”

A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on CCL. UBS AG reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $76.00 price target (up from $67.00) on shares of Carnival Corporation in a research report on Thursday, August 17th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Carnival Corporation in a research report on Tuesday, August 15th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Carnival Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Friday, August 18th. Bank of America Corporation restated a “buy” rating and set a $73.20 target price on shares of Carnival Corporation in a report on Monday, July 24th. Finally, KeyCorp downgraded shares of Carnival Corporation to an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, July 6th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Carnival Corporation currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $63.07.

Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) traded down 4.07% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $65.94. 10,390,474 shares of the company were exchanged. The company has a 50 day moving average of $67.77 and a 200 day moving average of $63.36. Carnival Corporation has a 12-month low of $45.46 and a 12-month high of $69.89. The stock has a market cap of $47.74 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.44 and a beta of 0.74.

Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, June 22nd. The company reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.47 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $3.95 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.89 billion. Carnival Corporation had a net margin of 16.48% and a return on equity of 11.26%. Carnival Corporation’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.49 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Carnival Corporation will post $3.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, insider Alan Buckelew sold 15,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.02, for a total transaction of $1,005,300.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 150,860 shares in the company, valued at $10,110,637.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 23.80% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Almanack Investment Partners LLC. bought a new stake in Carnival Corporation during the second quarter worth $117,000. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd bought a new stake in Carnival Corporation during the first quarter worth $138,000. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Carnival Corporation during the first quarter worth $147,000. Parallel Advisors LLC grew its holdings in Carnival Corporation by 87.9% during the first quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 2,674 shares of the company’s stock worth $167,000 after buying an additional 1,251 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bessemer Group Inc. grew its holdings in Carnival Corporation by 109.4% during the second quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 2,618 shares of the company’s stock worth $171,000 after buying an additional 1,368 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.34% of the company’s stock.

About Carnival Corporation

Carnival Corporation is a leisure travel company. The Company is a cruise company of global cruise guests, and a provider of vacations to all cruise destinations throughout the world. The Company operates in four segments: North America, EAA, Cruise Support and, Tour and Other. The Company’s North America segment includes Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises (Princess) and Seabourn.

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