Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CLL) stock traded higher this morning after the cruise line reported fourth-quarter 2016 earnings. The firm reported earnings per share of $0.67, beating the Wall Street analyst consensus of $0.58 by $0.09 or 15.5 percent. The EPS figure represents year-over-year growth of 34 percent. Revenue came in at $3.94 billion, beating expectations of $3.90 billion by 1 percent.

Carnival management will hold a conference call with investors and analysts at 10 a.m. ET that may be accessed from the firm's investor relations website.

Carnival is headed by Arnold Donald, the company's chief executive officer, and David Bernstein, the chief financial officer. In fiscal 2015, Donald earned a salary of $5.48 million, on top of exercising $248,000 in options. Bernstein eared $2.58 million in 2015 and exercised no options.

"We enjoyed strong momentum in booking patterns through 2016 and are therefore in a stronger booked position entering the new year at higher prices as a result of our ongoing efforts to increase consideration and demand for our brands," CEO Donald was quoted by PR Newswire.

CCL stock outperforms Dow Jones Industrial Average

Since January 1989, the earliest data available with Yahoo Finance, CCL stock has returned over 1,000 percent, compared with a return of near 750 for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, for the same period.

Carnival has also paid regular dividends. CCL stock currently pays an annual dividend of $1.40, yielding 2.7 percent. Over the past 12 months, shares in Carnival have lost close to 2 percent, compared with a gain of close to 16 percent for the Dow.

Twenty brokers tracked by Yahoo Finance currently publish price targets and recommendations for Carnival.

Price targets among the firms range from $46 to $63 and average $55.59. The average recommendation for CCL stock among the firms is 2.3, where 5.0 is a sell and 1.0 is a strong buy.

Single-digit revenue growth, double-digit EPS growth

Over the past five years, Carnival management has grown CCL EPS at an average rate of 15.51 percent annually.

For the full-2017 fiscal year, the analyst consensus is for EPS to grow by 24.40 percent, to $3.72. Full-year 2017 revenues are forecast to grow by 4.60 percent to $17.11 billion. Full-year 2017 EPS views have been reduced over the past 90 days, from $3.83 to $3.72, or by 2.3 percent.

Major institutional Carnival shareholders include SunTrust Banks and Northern Trust Corporation, which hold 1.9 and 1.6 million shares, respectively. The most recent action with regard to CCL stock was an upgrade by Bernstein Research from market "perform" to "outperform," on November 23. Macquerie Group initiated coverage of Carnival in early October with a "neutral" rating on the stock.

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