Carnival Corp (NYSE:CCL) has been assigned an average recommendation of “Buy” from the twenty-four analysts that are covering the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell recommendation, eight have given a hold recommendation and fifteen have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average twelve-month price objective among brokerages that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $55.82.

A number of equities research analysts recently commented on CCL shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered Carnival Corp from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, December 2nd. Wells Fargo & Co restated an “overweight” rating on shares of Carnival Corp in a research report on Friday, December 23rd. William Blair reiterated a “market perform” rating and issued a $52.15 price objective on shares of Carnival Corp in a research report on Wednesday, December 14th. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $50.00 price objective (up from $48.00) on shares of Carnival Corp in a research report on Friday, December 23rd. Finally, Argus upgraded Carnival Corp from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price objective for the company from $56.03 to $64.00 in a research report on Monday, February 27th.

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Carnival Corp (NYSE:CCL) opened at 57.76 on Thursday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $56.12 and its 200 day moving average price is $51.50. Carnival Corp has a 52-week low of $42.94 and a 52-week high of $57.96. The firm has a market capitalization of $41.93 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.53 and a beta of 0.73.

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

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 17th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 24th were given a $0.35 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, February 22nd. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.42%. Carnival Corp’s dividend payout ratio is currently 37.43%.

In other news, CFO David Bernstein sold 23,030 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $55.88, for a total value of $1,286,916.40. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 127,297 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,113,356.36. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Alan Buckelew sold 9,273 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.95, for a total value of $491,005.35. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 195,128 shares in the company, valued at $10,332,027.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 241,297 shares of company stock worth $13,007,082 over the last 90 days. 22.00% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of CCL. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Carnival Corp during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $222,852,000. Capital World Investors increased its stake in shares of Carnival Corp by 1,172.4% in the third quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 3,690,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $180,146,000 after buying an additional 3,400,000 shares during the last quarter. Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in shares of Carnival Corp by 235.5% in the third quarter. Henderson Group PLC now owns 3,355,451 shares of the company’s stock valued at $163,796,000 after buying an additional 2,355,220 shares during the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of Carnival Corp during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $78,979,000. Finally, Investec Asset Management LTD increased its stake in shares of Carnival Corp by 44.5% in the fourth quarter. Investec Asset Management LTD now owns 4,708,302 shares of the company’s stock valued at $245,114,000 after buying an additional 1,449,738 shares during the last quarter. 79.45% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Carnival Corp

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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