The cruise company posted adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of 4 cents a share, higher than the company's guidance range of a loss of 3 cents a share and earnings of 3 cents. Total revenue for the quarter was $3.659 billion, a 2.2% increase year over year.
Following the earnings report, Credit Suisse upgraded Carnival to "outperform" from "neutral. Analyst Joel Simkins wrote that "it appears that CCL is making some positive steps towards a business transformation," following the arrival of new CEO Arnold Donald. Credit Suisse now lists a target price of $43 for Carnival.
UBS upgraded Carnival to "buy" from "neutral. I's target price for the stock is now $41. Analysts Robin Farley and Arpine Kocharyan noted that double-digit yield increases for the Costa brand were the "biggest upside" of the earnings call. Costa is the brand that operated the Concordia cruise ship that partially sank off the coast of Italy in January 2012.
Shares of Carnival rose 1.3% to $38.54 in early trading on Friday.
TheStreet Ratings team rates CARNIVAL CORP/PLC (USA) as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about its recommendation:
"We rate CARNIVAL CORP/PLC (USA) (CCL) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, reasonable valuation levels, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat weak growth in earnings per share."