Carnival Cruise Shares Upgraded as JPMorgan Predicts 22% Upside: CEO Focuses on Brand Clarity and Pricing Power

Carnival shares upgraded to overweight by JPMorgan

Increased investment in advertising and smaller capacity growth profile

Analyst Matthew Boss also raised his price target to $16 from $11, implying more than 22% upside from Friday’s close. “CCL has an opportunity to drive improved brand clarity and pricing power with increased investment in advertising (vs. historical underinvestment vs peers) and given a smaller capacity growth profile, this provides a faster pathway for management to focus on de-levering the balance sheet,” Boss wrote.

New CEO and leadership changes present a promising opportunity for growth

The analyst thinks Carnival’s new CEO and leadership changes present a promising opportunity for growth. The company has engaged in other efforts for improvement he noted, such as retiring more than 20 ships over the pandemic and repositioning ship assets to more accretive brands. “On the top-line, we came away confident in current trends with all three management teams,” Boss said. Shares have surged 62.4% year to date and more than 30% over the past 12 months. The stock was up 3.5% Monday during premarket trading. — AsumeTech’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

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