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Carnival (CCL) Declares Plan to Launch Four Ships in 2018


Carnival Corporation CCL announced yesterday that it will launch four new cruise ships in 2018 as part of its current fleet enhancement strategy.

While Carnival Horizon (belonging to Carnival Cruise Line brand) and Seabourn Ovation (Seabourn) will be launched in April and May respectively, AIDAnova (AIDA Cruises) and ms Nieuw Statendam (Holland America Line) are slated for a December launch.

According to Roger Frizzell, chief communications officer of Carnival, "On top of the three new ships we launched in 2017, we look forward to the delivery of four more spectacular ships that will help us continue providing extraordinary cruise vacations at an exceptional value for our guests."

Carnival has 18 new ships scheduled to be included in its portfolio of leading global cruise brands between 2018 and 2022.

We observe that shares of Carnival have rallied 24.5% in the last year, outperforming the industry’s growth of 21.9%.

Move Aimed to Meet Escalating Demand for Cruise Vacations

We believe that these launches are part of the company’s bid to formulate measured capacity growth over time that allows its global fleet to meet escalating demand for cruise vacations across the world. In fact, launching ships is part of the company’s long-term strategy to build state-of-the-art vessels that aid in providing guests with a remarkable vacation experience at an exceptional value.

Carnival Corporation Revenue (TTM)

In June 2017, its Germany-based AIDA Cruises brand launched AIDAperla, one of the world's most environmentally friendly and technologically advanced ships. Carnival also launched Majestic Princess from Princess Cruises in March, which is the world's first cruise ship built specifically for the Chinese market. In fact, the ship has been very well received by its guests.

Moreover, we note that along with focusing on new-builds to stimulate demand creation, Carnival also continues to invest in its existing fleet to further enhance guest experience.

Zacks Rank and Stocks to Consider

Carnival has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector include Clarus Corporation CLAR, Las Vegas Sands Corp. LVS, and Melco Resorts & Entertainment Limited MLCO. While Clarus sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Las Vegas Sands and Melco Resorts carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Clarus, Las Vegas Sands and Melco Resorts’ earnings in 2018 are expected to improve 254.3%, 3.8% and 19.7%, respectively.

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