Carnival (CCL) Upgraded to Buy at Goldman Sachs Group

Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Carnival (NYSE:CCL) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning, Marketbeat.com reports. The firm currently has $65.00 target price on the stock, up from their prior target price of $63.00.

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on CCL. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Carnival from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Monday, December 3rd. Credit Suisse Group set a $76.00 price objective on shares of Carnival and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 20th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Carnival from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 13th. Cleveland Research upgraded shares of Carnival from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, December 17th. Finally, Standpoint Research cut shares of Carnival from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $57.16 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Wednesday, January 30th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the stock. Carnival currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $69.70.

Shares of CCL opened at $56.61 on Wednesday. Carnival has a twelve month low of $45.64 and a twelve month high of $69.11. The stock has a market cap of $29.83 billion, a PE ratio of 13.29, a P/E/G ratio of 0.87 and a beta of 1.26. The company has a current ratio of 0.24, a quick ratio of 0.19 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32.

Carnival (NYSE:CCL) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, December 20th. The company reported $0.70 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.69 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $4.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.46 billion. Carnival had a net margin of 16.70% and a return on equity of 12.44%. Carnival’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.63 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that Carnival will post 4.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 22nd were given a dividend of $0.50 per share. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.53%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 21st. Carnival’s payout ratio is currently 46.95%.

In other Carnival news, General Counsel Arnaldo Perez sold 5,691 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.08, for a total transaction of $324,842.28. Following the transaction, the general counsel now directly owns 43,724 shares in the company, valued at $2,495,765.92. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Arnold W. Donald purchased 21,595 shares of Carnival stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 26th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $46.43 per share, for a total transaction of $1,002,655.85. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders have sold 71,792 shares of company stock worth $4,053,366 over the last quarter. Company insiders own 24.10% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Capital World Investors boosted its stake in shares of Carnival by 94.4% during the third quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 16,838,371 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,073,783,000 after purchasing an additional 8,176,078 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its stake in shares of Carnival by 4,485.8% during the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 8,764,160 shares of the company’s stock valued at $178,000 after purchasing an additional 8,573,046 shares during the period. OppenheimerFunds Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Carnival by 1.9% during the third quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 7,295,657 shares of the company’s stock valued at $465,245,000 after purchasing an additional 135,561 shares during the period. London Co. of Virginia boosted its stake in shares of Carnival by 4.8% during the fourth quarter. London Co. of Virginia now owns 6,718,972 shares of the company’s stock valued at $331,246,000 after purchasing an additional 308,876 shares during the period. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Carnival by 6.6% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 4,710,995 shares of the company’s stock valued at $231,797,000 after purchasing an additional 292,550 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.85% of the company’s stock.

About Carnival

Carnival Corporation operates as a leisure travel company in North America, Australia, Europe, and Asia. It operates in four segments: North America and Australia Cruise Operations, Europe and Asia Cruise Operations, Cruise Support, and Tour and Other. The company operates cruises under the Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises (Australia), Seabourn, Costa, AIDA, P&O Cruises (UK), and Cunard brand names.

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Analyst Recommendations for Carnival (NYSE:CCL)

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