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Carnival Director Boosts His Stake by 997%

By Rhian Hunt – Updated Apr 13, 2020 at 1:49PM

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It’s the company’s first insider purchase since the coronavirus reached America’s shores.

An SEC filing that just became publicly available reveals one of the directors at Carnival Corporation (CCL 6.62%) made a massive insider purchase on April 6, shortly after the company made a secondary stock offering of 71.9 million shares. Director Randall Weisenburger purchased 1.25 million shares in the cruise ship company, bringing his total ownership to approximately 1.38 million shares.

Hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen major outbreaks in the tightly packed environs of cruise vessels, Carnival issued the additional stock to raise operating funds. The stock sold for $8 per share, priced very close to its 52-week low of $7.90. The secondary offering represents an attempted balancing act between diluting shareholder value and raising the approximately $1 billion Carnival needs monthly to stay operational.

A docked cruise ship.

Image source: Carnival

Weisenburger increased his stake by 997% with the purchase, which is the first insider acquisition of Carnival stock since COVID-19 slammed the cruise industry starting in March. According to the SEC filing, the director now owns 1,375,352 shares in the company. The addition to his portfolio cost Weisenburger $10 million. His last insider purchase was on July 3, 2019, when he bought 20,000 shares for $46.50 apiece, spending $930,000.

While Weisenburger is the only insider to buy up a substantial block of shares in recent days, the secondary offering attracted an even bigger investor. Saudi Arabia purchased an 8.2% stake in Carnival on April 6 through its Public Investment Fund. The order for 43.5 million shares gave Carnival about $348 million in cash and caused a temporary rebound in its stock price, though its share value has dropped somewhat since.

Rhian Hunt has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Carnival. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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