Carnival shares have been hammered since its Costa Concordia cruise liner capsized off the coast of Italy on Jan. 13, causing the deaths of 25 passengers. The stock is down nearly 13% since the accident occurred, and 25% in the past year. On Monday, Carnival had another accident, this time aboard its Costa Allegra, where a fire broke out on its way to the Seychelles from Madagascar. There were no reported injuries.
Sandy Villere describes Carnival as "down and out," saying people "hate it" right now, but he believes this is actually a great time to buy the stock and tap into its virtual duopoly with Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL - Get Report).
"In 12 months people will forget the ship ever crashed," Villere explains. He thinks the stock will inevitably return to pre-accident levels of around $35, resulting in a 15%-plus return. Not to mention the 3%-plus forward dividend yield investors will enjoy."After 9/11, people thought they would never fly again," he says. "It was scary at the beginning, but over the long run, people started flying again." Villere estimates that 80% of Carnival's clients are repeat customers, which indicates the business has a solid base to rely on. Wall Street is mildly bullish on the stock with 12 of the 20 analysts covering Carnival at either strong buy (6) or buy (6), and the 12-month median price target sitting at $34.50, implying potential upside of 16.6% from Tuesday's close at $30.01. Carnival is currently in the final month of its fiscal first quarter, and it plans to report its financial results on March 19. The average analysts' view is for a profit of a penny per share on revenue of $3.56 billion. Check out TheStreet's quote page for Carnival Corporation for year-to-date share performance, analyst ratings, earnings estimates and much more.