• Carnival Corporation reported record Q2 2024 financial performance with $5.8 billion in revenue and a significant increase in net income.
  • Strategic partnerships and the rollout of SpaceX's Starlink enhanced Carnival's operational success and guest experience.
  • Carnival's growth potential is strong in North American and European markets, luxury segments, and new demographics.
  • Technical analysis suggests an average end-of-2024 price target for Carnival (CCL) stock of $23.80, reflecting potential for substantial gains.

I. Carnival Q2 2024 Performance Analysis

A. Key Segments Performance  

Financial Highlights:

Carnival Corporation (NYSE) reported record financial performance for Q2 2024, showcasing significant growth across various financial metrics. The company achieved record revenues of $5.8 billion, reflecting strong demand and higher ticket prices. Net income saw an impressive increase to $92 million, up nearly $500 million from the previous year, with adjusted net income reaching $134 million, exceeding the March guidance by $170 million. EPS was reported at $0.07, with adjusted EPS at $0.11.

Source: Q2 2024 Earnings Presentation

Operating income reached a record $560 million, a fivefold increase from 2023, while adjusted EBITDA rose over 75% to $1.2 billion. Gross margin yields increased by nearly 50%, and net yields in constant currency exceeded 2023 levels by over 12%. Carnival's balance sheet showed robust health, with customer deposits hitting an all-time high of $8.3 billion, surpassing the previous record by $1.1 billion. Cash flow from operations was $2.0 billion, and adjusted free cash flow was $1.3 billion, reflecting strong operational execution.

Operational Performance:

Carnival reported increased passenger cruise days and higher onboard spending, contributing to the overall revenue growth. Market share remained strong across key regions, with particularly notable performance in the European and North American markets. Strategic portfolio optimization included the decision to sunset the P&O Cruises (Australia) brand, folding its operations into Carnival Cruise Line, which is expected to enhance operational efficiencies and strengthen performance in the South Pacific.

Technological Advancements and Innovations:

The installation of SpaceX's Starlink transformed the onboard connectivity experience, providing high-speed WiFi comparable to land-based services. This upgrade not only enhanced the guest experience but also improved crew communication and operational systems.

Source: Source: Q2 2024 Earnings Presentation

The launch of new products, such as the Queen Anne by Cunard, further highlighted Carnival's focus on innovation. The Queen Anne, Cunard's first new ship in 14 years, received record-breaking bookings following its launch, demonstrating strong market reception.

B. CCL Stock Price Performance

Carnival's Q2 2024 performance highlights a notable stock price decline, contrasting with broader market trends. The stock opened at $15.90 and closed at $15.08, marking a 5.8% decrease. Within the quarter, it experienced a high of $17.68 and a low of $13.80, indicating significant volatility. This performance is starkly different from the S&P 500, which saw a 2.7% price return, underscoring Carnival's underperformance relative to the market. The company's market capitalization stands at $20 billion, reflecting its substantial size.


II. CCL Stock Forecast: Outlook & Growth Opportunities

A. Segments with Growth Potential

North American and European Markets: Carnival's North American and European segments have shown remarkable yield improvements. In Q2 2024, European brands experienced over 20% yield improvement, while North America saw a healthy 7% rise. These regions are crucial for Carnival's revenue growth due to their strong demand and high occupancy rates. Overall, cruise passengers count is expected to expand constantly.

Source: jpmorgan.com 

Luxury and Premium Segments: Carnival's luxury and premium brands, such as Cunard and Seabourn, continue to attract high-end travelers. The successful launch of Cunard's Queen Anne and its associated high booking rates demonstrate the strength of this segment. The premium segment offers higher margins and enhanced revenue per passenger, which is vital for profitability.

B. Expansions and Strategic Initiatives

Mergers and Acquisitions: Carnival's strategic mergers and acquisitions have been instrumental in expanding its fleet and market presence. For instance, the acquisition of ships from Costa Cruises and the integration of P&O Australia's vessels into Carnival Cruise Line highlight the company's focus on optimizing its fleet and enhancing operational efficiency.

Research and Development Investments: Carnival's commitment to innovation is evident through its investments in research and development. The introduction of new, technologically advanced ships like the Sun Princess, which boasts unique features and experiences, showcases Carnival's dedication to enhancing passenger experience.

Partnerships and Collaborations: Strategic partnerships and collaborations play a pivotal role in Carnival's growth strategy. For example, the collaboration with Tesla for the development of energy-efficient technologies underscores Carnival's focus on sustainability.

Destination Development: Carnival's investment in developing exclusive destinations, such as Celebration Key, is a significant growth driver. These destinations provide unique experiences that attract more passengers and increase revenue through higher ticket prices and onboard spending. Celebration Key is set to support growth from 2025, with 18 ships expected to call there by 2026, enhancing Carnival's competitive edge.

III. CCL Stock Forecast 2024

A. CCL Stock Prediction: Technical Analysis

Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL)  stock is priced at $17.82. The trendline and baseline, both set at approximately $15.53-$15.54 using a modified exponential moving average, provide a strong indication of the stock's recent performance. These values suggest the stock is experiencing an upward momentum, as the current price surpasses these benchmarks.

Carnival Stock Price Prediction - Price Targets

Source: tradingview.com

Average Price Target: The average price target for the end of 2024 is projected at $23.80. This estimation is based on the momentum of change-in-polarity observed over mid- to short-term periods and projected using Fibonacci retracement/extension levels.  

Optimistic Price Target: An optimistic scenario places the price target at $29.80. This higher target reflects the potential for stronger upward momentum within the current swing.

Pessimistic Price Target: On the flip side, the pessimistic price target is set at $14.80. This scenario takes into account the possibility of downward price momentum.

Support and Resistance Levels

Primary Support: Set at $17.28, indicating a level where buying interest could emerge to support the price.

Pivot of Horizontal Price Channel: The pivot level is identified at $15.97, serving as a central reference point within the current trading range.

Resistance Levels:

  • Core Resistance at $20.11
  • Resistance in case of heightened volatility at $23.81

Support Levels:

  • Support at $14.83
  • Core Support at $11.83

Relative Strength Index (RSI)

The RSI value stands at 64.28, indicating that the stock is in a bullish phase but not yet overbought (which would be above 70). Regular bullish and bearish levels are at 38 and 58.51, respectively, with no current divergence. The RSI line trend is upward, supporting the bullish sentiment.

Moving Average Convergence/Divergence (MACD)

The MACD indicator further reinforces the bullish outlook. The MACD line at 0.1893, signal line at 0.0702, and histogram at 0.119, collectively point to increasing bullish momentum.

Source: tradingview.com

Price Volume Trend (PVT)

The PVT line is at 252.607 million, with a moving average of 224.863 million. The prevailing stock price momentum is bullish, indicating that volume supports the current price increase.

Source: tradingview.com

B. Carnival Cruise Stock Forecast: Fundamental Analysis

Financial Ratios

EV/Sales (Forward): The Enterprise Value to Sales (EV/Sales) ratio stands at 2.05, considerably higher than the sector median of 1.2, indicating that the market values each dollar of Carnival's sales at a higher rate than the average company in the sector. However, this ratio is significantly lower than its five-year average of 5.26, suggesting that the company is currently valued much more conservatively compared to its historical norms.

Price/Sales (Forward): The forward Price to Sales (P/S) ratio is 0.85, which is slightly below the sector median of 0.89. This indicates that Carnival is valued slightly lower relative to its revenue compared to the sector. Moreover, it is much lower than its five-year average of 2.67, showing a substantial decrease in market valuation relative to sales over the past few years.

Price/Book (Forward): The forward Price to Book (P/B) ratio is 2.63, which is 10.50% higher than the sector median of 2.38. This implies that investors are willing to pay a premium for each dollar of Carnival's book value compared to the sector. The P/B ratio is also 55.82% higher than its five-year average of 1.69, indicating a significant increase in the stock's valuation relative to its book value in recent years.

Source: Analyst's compilation

C. CCL Forecast: Market Sentiment

CCL Price Target and Analyst Recommendations

CNN Ratings: As per CNN.com, out of 25 analysts covering Carnival, 84% recommend a 'Buy', 12% suggest 'Hold', and only 4% advise 'Sell'. The one-year stock price forecast shows a high estimate of $25.00, a median of $21.00, and a low of $13.00. The current stock price is $17.82, which aligns more closely with the median CCL target price, suggesting moderate optimism among analysts.


WSJ.com Ratings: The data from the Wall Street Journal indicates similar sentiment, with 18 analysts rating it as 'Buy', 3 as 'Hold', and 2 as 'Sell'. The stock price targets are consistent, with a high of $25.00, a median of $22.00, and a low of $13.00, with an average target of $20.75.


Institutional Holdings: Institutional investors hold 57.14% of Carnival's shares, amounting to approximately 1,122 million shares valued at $11,427 million. This high level of institutional ownership indicates strong confidence among large investors in the company's future prospects.


Short Interest: Carnival's short interest is 109.4 million shares, representing 12.3% of the total shares outstanding, with 3.53 days to cover. This relatively high level of short interest suggests that there is a significant amount of skepticism about Carnival's near-term performance.


IV. Carnival Stock Forecast: Challenges & Risk Factors

Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL) faces significant competition from Royal Caribbean (RCI) and Norwegian Cruise Line. Both competitors are expanding their fleets aggressively. This expansion could force Carnival to increase its capital expenditures, which are already high. Economic downturns pose a significant risk to Carnival, as cruises are a discretionary spending item. A 10% reduction in consumer spending could lead to a substantial drop in bookings, directly impacting revenue.  

[2024 Worldwide Market Share]

Source: cruisemarketwatch.com 

In conclusion,  Carnival Corporation's Q2 2024 performance showed record revenue and a notable net income increase, indicating strong demand and higher ticket prices. Technical forecast an end-of-2024 price target for CCL stock at $23.80, reflecting optimism for substantial gains. For trading, the VSTAR app offers CFD trading on CCL stock with low fees, institutional level experience, and deep liquidity. CFDs (Contracts for Difference) allow traders to speculate on CCL stock price movements without owning the actual shares.

*Disclaimer: The content of this article is for learning purposes only and does not represent the official position of VSTAR, nor can it be used as investment advice.