Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Carnival shares have outpaced the Zacks classified Leisure & Recreation Services industry in the last six months. Given an expected increase in cruise travel throughout 2017, 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 along with other marketing activities are driving bookings. It also stands to gain from its strategy of growing beyond familiar itineraries and capitalizing on fast growing markets like Asia, Cuba. New onboard product offerings and various strategic initiatives are expected to drive onboard yield gains. Also, cost containment efforts like lower fuel consumption bode well. Yet, negative currency translation and macroeconomic issues in key operating regions remain potent headwinds, while increasing fuel costs could impact profitability.”

A number of other research analysts also recently commented on the company. Wedbush restated a neutral rating and issued a $54.00 target price on shares of Carnival Corporation in a research note on Tuesday, January 10th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a hold rating and issued a $50.00 target price (up previously from $48.00) on shares of Carnival Corporation in a research note on Friday, December 23rd. Wells Fargo & Company restated an overweight rating on shares of Carnival Corporation in a research note on Friday, December 23rd. Barclays PLC restated an equal weight rating and issued a $56.00 target price on shares of Carnival Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, December 21st. Finally, Credit Suisse Group restated an outperform rating and issued a $59.00 target price on shares of Carnival Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, December 21st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $55.22.

Analyst Recommendations for Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL)

Shares of Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) opened at 56.03 on Tuesday. Carnival Corporation has a 12-month low of $42.84 and a 12-month high of $57.79. The stock has a market capitalization of $40.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.06 and a beta of 0.73. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $54.66 and its 200 day moving average price is $50.05.

Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, December 20th. The company reported $0.67 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $3.90 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.90 billion. Carnival Corporation had a return on equity of 11.35% and a net margin of 16.96%. Carnival Corporation’s quarterly revenue was up 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.50 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Carnival Corporation will post $3.58 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 17th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 24th will be issued a $0.35 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 22nd. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.50%. Carnival Corporation’s payout ratio is presently 37.43%.

In other news, Director Sir Jonathon Band sold 6,276 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, January 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.48, for a total value of $335,640.48. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, General Counsel Arnaldo Perez sold 15,165 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.11, for a total value of $790,248.15. Following the completion of the transaction, the general counsel now directly owns 88,789 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,626,794.79. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 142,056 shares of company stock valued at $7,461,495. 22.00% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of CCL. KLCM Advisors Inc. boosted its position in shares of Carnival Corporation by 2.8% in the second quarter. KLCM Advisors Inc. now owns 244,218 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,794,000 after buying an additional 6,733 shares during the last quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC raised its stake in Carnival Corporation by 3.8% in the second quarter. Neuberger Berman Group LLC now owns 1,260,088 shares of the company’s stock worth $55,696,000 after buying an additional 45,640 shares during the period. Airain ltd raised its stake in Carnival Corporation by 192.1% in the second quarter. Airain ltd now owns 111,644 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,935,000 after buying an additional 73,423 shares during the period. BRC Investment Management LLC raised its stake in Carnival Corporation by 2.4% in the second quarter. BRC Investment Management LLC now owns 211,172 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,334,000 after buying an additional 4,962 shares during the period. Finally, Princeton Alpha Management LP raised its stake in Carnival Corporation by 648.6% in the second quarter. Princeton Alpha Management LP now owns 60,880 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,691,000 after buying an additional 52,747 shares during the period. 79.45% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Carnival Corporation

Carnival Corporation is a leisure travel company. The Company is a cruise company and provides vacations to cruise destinations throughout the world. The Company aggregates its approximately nine global, regional and national cruise brands into North America, and Europe, Australia & Asia (EAA) segments.

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