When Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) reported its fiscal first-quarter financial results on Tuesday, the reaction from investors was relatively flat and analysts took a somewhat neutral view on the stock. However on a positive note, practically all the analysts covering Carnival hiked their price targets.
The cruise line operator posted $0.38 in earnings per share (EPS) and $3.79 billion in revenue, versus consensus estimates that called for $0.35 in EPS and revenue of $3.79 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $0.39 and $3.7 billion in revenue.
Looking ahead to the 2017 fiscal year, the company expects revenue yields in constant currency to be up roughly 3% compared to last year, better than the December guidance of 2.5%. EPS is expected to be in the range of $3.50 to $3.70, versus December guidance of $3.30 to $3.60. Consensus estimates are $3.61 in EPS and $16.89 billion in revenue for the fiscal full year.
Also during the quarter, following the corporation’s historic sailings from the United States to Cuba through its Fathom brand, Carnival Cruise Line received approval to begin operating cruises to Cuba. Carnival Paradise will be the largest cruise ship to sail to Cuba from the United States when it begins calling in Havana in June 2017.
Arnold Donald, Carnival president and CEO, commented:
We are off to a good start delivering another quarter of operational improvement on top of a very strong first quarter last year. Our performance was driven by increased demand, particularly for our core Caribbean itineraries, leading to higher year-over-year ticket prices which enabled us to overcome the significant negative impact of both fuel and currency to exceed the high end of our guidance range.
A few analysts weighed in on Carnival after the earnings report:
- HSBC has a Buy rating and raised its price target to $65 from $62.
- Instinet raised its price target to $67 from $61.
- JPMorgan has a Neutral rating and raised its price target to $59 from $52.
- Stifel raised its price target from $65 to $68.
- SunTrust Robinson raised its price target to $67 from $60.
- Wedbush has a Neutral rating and raised its price target to $61 from $54.
Shares of Carnival were last seen down 0.5% at $58.95 on Wednesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $58.94 and a 52-week trading range of $42.94 to $60.24.