The American consumer isn’t exactly flush with cash these days, and that means no expensive vacations. But his counterpart in Europe isn’t having that trouble. Carnival Cruise got the nod from Cramer Monday night for noticing the trend and taking advantage of it.
Thirty-four percent of Carnival’s sales come from outside of North America, and the market in Europe is growing. These days, the EU makes up about 24% of the world’s cruise passengers, and that number is increasing by 10% a year.
Carnival hopes to increase its European fleet from 30% of the company’s ships to 40% by 2010. The closest competitor, Royal Caribbean , has only 10% of its fleet in Europe. Of all the cruise ships in Europe, Carnival owns 40%, by far the largest.
Of course, Cramer wouldn’t recommend a stock solely for its ability to predict a trend. The fundamentals are “just plain good,” he said. CCL’s advance bookings for the fourth quarter of 2007 and the first half of 2008 are already ahead of last year’s numbers.
“That bodes well for the stock,” Cramer said.
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