Carnival (CCL) Upgraded to Equal Weight by Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Carnival (NYSE:CCL) from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating in a research note released on Wednesday. Morgan Stanley currently has $68.00 price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of $65.94.

Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Nomura restated a buy rating and issued a $75.00 price objective on shares of Carnival in a report on Friday, September 29th. Instinet restated a buy rating and set a $75.00 price objective on shares of Carnival in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Argus reiterated a neutral rating and issued a $67.00 price target (down previously from $78.00) on shares of Carnival in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a neutral rating on shares of Carnival in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reissued a buy rating and issued a $79.00 price objective (up from $74.00) on shares of Carnival in a research note on Wednesday, September 27th. Nine equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twelve have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $67.73.

Carnival (NYSE:CCL) traded up $0.19 on Wednesday, reaching $66.25. 1,470,282 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,164,449. The company has a current ratio of 0.21, a quick ratio of 0.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32. The stock has a market capitalization of $35,333.03, a P/E ratio of 17.08, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.18 and a beta of 0.73. Carnival has a fifty-two week low of $50.77 and a fifty-two week high of $69.89.

Carnival (NYSE:CCL) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, September 26th. The company reported $2.29 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.20 by $0.09. Carnival had a net margin of 15.53% and a return on equity of 12.15%. The firm had revenue of $5.52 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.39 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.92 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.2% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts expect that Carnival will post 3.7 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 24th will be paid a dividend of $0.45 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 22nd. This is a boost from Carnival’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.40. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.72%. Carnival’s dividend payout ratio is 43.72%.

In other news, CEO Arnold W. Donald sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.57, for a total transaction of $327,850.00. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 100,903 shares of company stock worth $6,782,771. Corporate insiders own 23.80% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. AXA boosted its position in shares of Carnival by 8.2% in the 3rd quarter. AXA now owns 183,604 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,855,000 after buying an additional 13,838 shares in the last quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP boosted its position in shares of Carnival by 40.8% in the 3rd quarter. GSA Capital Partners LLP now owns 7,504 shares of the company’s stock worth $485,000 after buying an additional 2,173 shares in the last quarter. IFM Investors Pty Ltd purchased a new stake in shares of Carnival in the 3rd quarter worth about $640,000. Yellowstone Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Carnival in the 3rd quarter worth about $751,000. Finally, Afam Capital Inc. lifted its holdings in Carnival by 6.2% in the 3rd quarter. Afam Capital Inc. now owns 22,680 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,464,000 after purchasing an additional 1,334 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.94% of the company’s stock.

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Carnival Company Profile

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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