Carnival said that booking volumes for 2009 are 10% ahead of year-ago levels, but at "significantly lower prices." The company has been aggressively running discount promotions in order to drum up customer interest in its array of cruise vacation options. Carnival lowered its full-year 2009 outlook, saying it now expects full-year EPS of $2.10 to $2.30 per share, lower than its previous forecast of $2.25 to $2.75. The new projections are still in line with Wall Street estimates, however. The company said it will seek out "low-cost opportunities to enhance its liquidity" in 2009. Carnival shares were up 20 cents, or 0.9%, in late-morning trading Tuesday. Shares of CCL are way off all-time highs of $57 hit in January 2005. The company has technical support in the $15-$17 price area. If the shares can continue their recent rebound, we see overhead resistance around the $26-$30 level. We do not currently rate this non-dividend paying stock but do follow the company closely. Carnival suspended dividend payouts in October 2008.
Although Williams-Sonoma's quarterly results beat estimates, its net income still slid almost 27% to $1.01 billion, and same-store sales, considered the key indicator of a retailer's health, fell a whopping 22.3%. The San Francisco-based company said it expects losses in the next two quarters and will probably not turn a profit again until the fiscal fourth quarter 2009, when holiday sales are expected to rise. Because of this tentative forecast, the company sees a full-year EPS range between a loss of 15 cents per share to a profit of 5 cents. This range is below analysts' estimates of 6 cents per share. Williams-Sonoma shares were up 64 cents, or 5.7%, in early afternoon trading Tuesday. We have been avoiding WSM shares since our early June coverage began, when they were around $22. Williams-Sonoma currently has a 4.29% dividend yield, based on last night's closing price of $11.19. The stock has technical support in the $5-$7 price area. If the shares can firm up, we see overhead resistance around the $13-$16 price mark. We would remain on the sidelines for now. Williams-Sonoma is not recommended, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 2.9 out of 5 stars.
We have avoided the shares of SLB since we began our June coverage, when the shares were trading at $101.94. The company has a 1.80% dividend yield, based on last night's closing stock price of $46.75. The stock has technical support in the $35-37 price area. If the shares can firm up and rally, we see overhead resistance at the $51-$55 level. We would remain on the sidelines for now. Schlumberger is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com Rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars. Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system.