Carnival Sell-Off Overdone According to Some Key Analysts

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Does the market still overreact to news headlines? It sure seems that way in many cases, and the recent sell-off in shares of Carnival Corp. (NYSE: CCL) after earnings may have become one of those instances. It turns out that Wall Street analysts have maintained a more bullish view of the cruise line operator and they still see big upside ahead.

The cruise line shares dropped almost 8% on Monday after lowering guidance, and even a good stock market would not have helped shares on Monday.

Credit Suisse sees an attractive risk/reward trade-off after the selling and called it a great buying opportunity, with its Outperform thesis intact and with a $76.20 price target. The firm’s 2019 earnings per share estimates imply 4% potential downside based on 2009 trough multiples and imply 34% potential upside based on 2004 to 2017 average multiples.

Morningstar, which has a $70 price target, said:

While some concern continues to linger surrounding close-in Caribbean bookings given last year’s aggressive hurricane season and its impact on key ports like San Juan, we don’t think the commentary surrounding demand for cruising warrants excessive worry. Carnival noted that since March, booking volumes for the forward three quarters have been slightly ahead at prices that have been in line with the year-ago period.

Stifel analysts cut their price target to $78 from $81, noting that areas outside the Caribbean are doing well and that the Caribbean is even showing some signs of marked improvement after a horrible 2017 hurricane season.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey also lowered its price target to $79 from $86, but the firm maintained that Carnival’s demand trends are still encouraging, even if hurricane season could be strong and even with higher oil prices as a consideration.

Susquehanna was a tad more conservative, trimming its price target to $74 from $76, while Wells Fargo maintained its Outperform rating but lowered its price target to $76 from $80. Deutsche Bank was far less aggressive here, with a mere Hold rating maintained. The firm also lowered its target to $68 from $71.

Carnival shares closed at $58.54 on Monday and the shares had come back to being flat on Tuesday morning. Carnival has a 52-week range of $56.95 to $72.70.