Priceline/Expedia up again as Orbitz soars on Q4 beat, short squeeze

|About: The Priceline Group Inc. (PCLN)|By:, SA News Editor

A day after rallying in response to TripAdvisor's strong Q4 report and guidance, Priceline (PCLN +2%) and Expedia (EXPE +2.2%) are following Orbitz (OWW +29.4%) higher. The travel site has skyrocketed in response to a healthy Q4 beat. Also helping: 10% of Orbitz's float was shorted as of Jan. 31.

Orbitz, pummeled in November following a Q3 EPS miss, is guiding for Q1 revenue of $202M-$207M (below a $207.3M consensus) , and for low-to-mid single-digit full-year revenue growth (consensus is for 3.7% growth). Full-year adjusted EBITDA is expected to grow at a high-single digit rate.

Gross bookings rose 4% Y/Y in Q4 vs. 5% in Q3, and net revenue margin rose 30 bps Y/Y to 8%. Standalone hotel revenue +18%, standalone air -11%, vacation packages +16%, ads/media -2%, everything else -3%.

Much like its peers, Orbitz is spending heavily on advertising: Marketing spend rose to 32.1% of revenue from 29.4% a year ago.

Priceline might also be getting a lift from a Credit Suisse PT hike.

Orbitz's earnings release