After 34 years, Carnival (NYSE:CCL) CEO Micky Arison is stepping down as CEO of the world's largest cruise-ship operator.

Carnival's new CEO is Arnold Donald. He's a longtime board member, so he naturally knows the company and its present challenges well. He lives in St. Louis, ironically enough, far removed from the coastal ports that Carnival relies on for most of its sailings. 

This may be a peculiar time to step down. Carnival has had its shares of mishaps at sea since early last year, but the cruise line was starting to sail past floating blunders. Even the maligned Carnival Triumph resumed sailing earlier this months after months of repairs and updates.

So is this really the right time for Carnival to be letting someone else steer the ship?

Arison's Miami Heat won another NBA title a week earlier, so at least he's going out a winner on one front.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWBI) posted strong quarterly results this week. Sales rose a hearty 38%, and earnings soared even higher. That's not a surprise. Firearms are in hot demand as consumers fear that ownership restrictions will be tightened. 
  • Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) can't catch a break. Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Ittai Kidron became the latest to get cold feet, lowering his price target from $480 to $460 and reducing his iPhone 5 shipment projections for the current quarter.
  • Apple wasn't the only former tech darling to get talked down this week. Maxim Group's Echo He lowered his price target on Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) to $75. The concern here is that margins will continue to come under pressure as competition intensifies. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.