The carnival gets even better from there, Jefferies said. Analyst David Katz upgraded Carnival to buy from hold, saying on Friday that the cruise line operator was benefiting from a series of changes that were improving its outlook. “The change in leadership and the recovery in supply and demand and the resulting equity pivot are driving a significant shift from debt to equity value within EV and should position the stock as broadly investable, which could play out over several years,” Katz wrote. CCL Stock 1D mountain Carnival 1-day “Despite the strong YTD performance, we believe the journey from a good business to a long-term investment case still lies ahead,” Katz wrote. Shares of Carnival have more than doubled this year on the back of a broader rally in cruise stocks. These travel names were crushed during the pandemic and are among the latest beneficiaries of this reopening theme. The analyst’s price target of $25, up from $9, is 45% higher than when the stock closed on Thursday. Shares of Carnival rose 2% in the premarket. The analyst’s bull case revolves around Carnival’s new leadership creating a “flatter and more efficient reporting structure that keeps direct reporting relationships for 93% of the company’s total brand capacity on it.” The company’s management is also increasing sales and marketing efforts to support demand. “[As] leverage is further reduced, we believe investor TAM continues to expand, which should further increase valuations over time,” the analyst wrote. — CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.