The holidays are here, and a challenging year for most stocks makes it fairly easy to pick up bargain gift ideas. A lot of high-flying stocks have had sharp descents, and you may be surprised by some of the names that you can pick up with single-digit price tags. 

Carnival (CCL 2.45%) and Fastly (FSLY 1.35%) are two stocks trading for less than $10 a share. The narrative has been largely negative for both companies, but it doesn't always have to be that way. Let's take a look at the two stocks that may not meander in the single digits for long if they can get back on track in 2023. 

Two couples giving piggy-back rides on the shore of a beach, with a cruise ship in the background.

Image source: Getty Images.

1. Carnival

You won't have to wait long to see which direction Carnival will be sailing in the near term. The world's largest cruise line reports its fiscal fourth-quarter results on Wednesday morning. It's a report that will move the stock, likely impacting Carnival's smaller rivals as well.

Analysts see revenue more than tripling to $3.91 billion. That's a big step up from depressed results over the past two years, but it would still be 18% below where it landed for the fiscal fourth quarter of 2019. Wall Street pros also see a quarterly loss of $0.87 a share, cutting last year's quarterly deficit in half. Big gains on the top line and narrowing the red ink on the bottom are welcome, but it's still not close to pre-pandemic form. 

Carnival posted a modest profit in the fiscal fourth quarter of 2019. It would be the cruise line operator's last profitable report. Wednesday's update should stretch the streak of losses to 12 quarters. It also bears pointing out that Wall Street has underestimated the deficits at Carnival in recent quarters.  

Period EPS Estimate EPS Actual Surprise
Q3 2021 ($1.25) ($1.55) (24%)
Q4 2021 ($1.27) ($1.52) (20%)
Q1 2022 ($1.26) ($1.66) (32%)
Q2 2022 ($1.17) ($1.64) (40%)
Q3 2022 ($0.13) ($0.58) (287%)

 Data source: Yahoo! Finance. EPS = earnings per share

The future is still promising. The news should be encouraging as Carnival discusses the year ahead in terms of booking trends and consumer demand. It will be interesting to see what new CEO Josh Weinstein -- who took the helm this summer -- sees on the horizon. Cruise line stocks were among the hardest-hit investments in the travel space when the COVID-19 crisis shut down operations. It follows that the upside is also there if Carnival and its peers can get back to smooth sailing after three challenging years.

2. Fastly 

It's not just Carnival with a huge ocean to travel to get back to its peak. Fastly stock has plummeted 93% since hitting all-time highs early last year. It was roughly a decade ago that Fastly raised the bar in the market for content-delivery networks, building its platform around solid-state caching systems in order to speed up data transmissions.

Revenue growth has slowed since Fastly's highs, but it's been able to hold up better than its stock chart with double-digit top-line gains through these out-of-favor times. The shares did move higher last month after posting better-than-expected financial results. Revenue rose 25%, its largest year-over-year gain since the first quarter of 2021 when Fastly was trading in the triple digits. It also posted a smaller quarterly loss than the pros were forecasting. Fastly even raised its guidance. 

Fastly still has a lot to do to get investors on its side, something that hasn't happened since it lost TikTok as a customer during the U.S. standoff with Chinese-owned companies a little more than two years ago. You still have to like its chances at a stock price that has cratered a lot worse than its actual business.