Dec. 15, 2014, 6:13 PM
- Priceline's (NASDAQ:PCLN) huge Booking.com unit has proposed giving hotel partners more leeway to offer cheaper prices on rival sites (something often prohibited by its current deals), in order to end probes from French, Italian, and Swedish antitrust regulators who have been working with the EC.
- The proposal would still require hotel owners signing price parity agreements not to undercut Booking.com on their own sites, but would allow them to do so on rival sites such as Expedia's (NASDAQ:EXPE) Hotels.com.
- International bookings accounted for 88% of Priceline's Q3 bookings; European purchases made via Booking.com undoubtedly accounted for a big chunk of the total.
- Priceline fell 2.3% in regular trading, and Expedia fell 0.2%. The Nasdaq was down 1%.
Dec. 15, 2014, 7:54 AM
- The Q-50 Index houses those companies next-eligible for inclusion into the Nasdaq 100 (NASDAQ:QQQ). Amid the Nasdaq 100's annual changes which added and dropped three from the index, the Q-50's quarterly re-ranking adds and drops eleven.
- Added: Ainylam Pharma (NASDAQ:ALNY), Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV), JD.com (NASDAQ:JD), MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI), Maxim Integrated (NASDAQ:MXIM), Old Dominion Freight Line (NASDAQ:ODFL), Shire (NASDAQ:SHPG), Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK), Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS), United Therapeutics (NASDAQ:UTHR).
- Dropped: Avis Budget (NASDAQ:CAR), Cree (NASDAQ:CREE), First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), Golar LNG (NASDAQ:GLNG), Methanex (NASDAQ:MEOH), Melco Crown (NASDAQ:MPEL), Nuance (NASDAQ:NUAN), SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY). Also dropped are the three Nasdaq 100 additions: American Airlines, Lam Research, and Electronic Arts.
- Source: Press Release
- Previously: Who's in, who's out in annual change to Nasdaq 100 (Dec. 13, 2014)
Dec. 13, 2014, 8:45 AM
- American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), and Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) will be added to the Nasdaq 100 (NASDAQ:QQQ) ahead of the open on December 22.
- Removed will be Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV), and Maxim Integrated (NASDAQ:MXIM).
- A revision to the index methodology allows multiple share classes of index participants to be included, so Comcast Class A Special (NASDAQ:CMCSK), Twenty-First Century Fox Class B (NASDAQ:FOX), and Liberty Global Class C (NASDAQ:LBTYK) will also become part of the index.
- Source: Press Release
- ETFs: QQQ, PSQ, TQQQ, QID, SQQQ, QLD, QQEW, QQQE, QQXT
Dec. 5, 2014, 7:06 PM
- Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN) and Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) have made their hotel inventory available for in-app bookings through Priceline-owned Kayak and travel startup Top10's app. However, they refuse to do the same for the Instant Bookings feature within TripAdvisor's (NASDAQ:TRIP) mobile apps.
- Priceline and Expedia's stance highlights the tension between the companies and TripAdvisor. While TripAdvisor drives plenty of traffic to both companies' sites (in exchange for referral fees) through its metasearch platform, it also does so for many rival sites, and (like Google) acts as an alternative to directly using Priceline and Expeida's platforms.
- TripAdvisor's click-based ad revenue (metasearch-driven) rose 31% Y/Y in Q3 to $247M. It's expected to grow at a mid-20s to high-20s clip for the whole of 2014.
Nov. 20, 2014, 7:39 PM
- Skift reports Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is "poised to launch its own travel service, featuring booking at independent hotels and resorts near major cities." The service, known as Amazon Travel, will likely go live around New Year's, and initially "feature a curated selection of hotels" near NYC, L.A., and Seattle.
- Amazon would collect a standard 15% commission from hoteliers who would upload inventory and set prices. A source says hoteliers would normally list properties at rack rates, but would also be free to discount.
- Though limited in scope, Amazon's service would put the company into competition with online travel agencies (OTAs) such as Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN), Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), and Orbitz (NYSE:OWW). OTAs have already seen Google, the recipient of much of their ad spend, encroach on their turf a bit with new services.
- As Skift notes, Amazon could appeal to independent/boutique hotels with less marketing reach than major chains. Amazon, meanwhile, could leverage its user data to cross-sell or bundle various goods.
- Separately, Amazon has inked a 17-year lease to rent 470K sq. feet of office space (effectively an entire 12-story building) across from the Empire State Building. The WSJ previously reported Amazon wants the building to be the location of its first brick-and-mortar store, and also serve as a warehouse and order pickup/return hub.
Nov. 18, 2014, 2:43 PM
- Shares of Expedia (EXPE +1.8%) are on the move after the company announces it will offer branded fares off its website in 2015.
- Branded fares allow consumers to price travel based on the services they desire to use.
- Expedia say select carriers will be on the site with branded fares by the middle of next year.
Nov. 10, 2014, 9:20 AM| 1 Comment
Nov. 4, 2014, 8:51 AM
- Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN) beat Q3 EPS estimates and posted in-line revenue, but offered EPS guidance that was well below consensus and noted macro conditions are mixed, especially in Europe. Revenue guidance (11%-18% Y/Y growth vs. a 23.8% consensus) is also light.
- The online travel giant also reported bookings growth slowed to 28% in Q3 from 34% in Q2 - U.S. bookings growth fell to 9.9% from 20.6%, and international growth to 31.6% from 36.2% - and guided for just 8%-15% Q4 bookings growth. Forex (driven by a weak euro) is expected to have a 500 bps impact on Q4 growth.
- While Priceline has a history of guiding conservatively, the size of the guidance shortfalls is raising eyebrows. Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) -1.2% premarket, TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP) -0.8%. TripAdvisor reports after the bell.
Nov. 4, 2014, 7:33 AM
- Expedia's (NASDAQ:EXPE) takeover of Wotif.com (OTCPK:WTIFY) received another green light, this time from New Zealand's competition regulator, leaving just one more regulatory hurdle for the A$699M ($610M) deal.
- "All of the conditions precedent to the scheme of arrangement, save for approval by the Supreme Court of Queensland, have now been satisfied," Wotif.com said in a statement. "A final hearing will be held at the Queensland Supreme Court tomorrow morning."
- The deal will make it easier for U.S.-based Expedia to grow in Australia and the Asia-Pacific.
- Previously: Australia approves Expedia's Wotif.com takeover
Oct. 31, 2014, 1:42 PM
- Expedia (EXPE +5%) is rallying after beating Q3 estimates on the back of a 29% Y/Y increase in gross bookings (even with Q2's clip) to $13.5B. U.S. bookings rose 35% to $7.9B, and international bookings 22% to $5.6B.
- Hotel room nights rose 24% Y/Y (down from Q2's 28%), and air tickets 30% (up from Q2's 28%). Revenue per room night fell 2%; revenue per ticket fell 7%.
- Sales/marketing spend (much of it on Google) rose 30% to $815.8M, and tech/content spend 20% to $172.8M. $130M was spent on buybacks.
- On the CC (transcript), the company reiterated guidance for 16%-19% full-year adjusted EBITDA growth. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi noted the Travelocity deal is boosting top-line performance, and said the company plans to increase investments in its Chinese eLong (LONG -0.5%) unit, which is facing "challenges and competitive headwinds."
- With marketing spend remaining high and investments in eLong and Trivago ramping, Benchmark expects "minimal EBITDA margin expansion" in 2015. But it also expects 13% sales growth after the Travelocity deal reaches its 1-year anniversary.
- Priceline (PCLN +4.6%) and TripAdvisor (TRIP +2.8%) are getting a lift from Expedia. The Nasdaq is up 1.3%.
Oct. 30, 2014, 4:33 PM
Oct. 29, 2014, 5:35 PM
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Oct. 9, 2014, 3:12 PM
- Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LMCA) CEO Greg Maffei hints that the company may look to swap its position in Expedia (EXPE -1.7%) for another investment during his talk at a media conference.
- Maffei says the company is looking for opportunities in digital and mobile disruption.
- Webcast of the FBR Digital Media Thought Leaders Conference
Oct. 2, 2014, 1:46 AM
- Despite raising concerns last month regarding Expedia's (NASDAQ:EXPE) takeover of Wotif.com (OTCPK:WTIFY), Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission has cleared the $660M deal.
- The antitrust regulator says that the acquisition is unlikely to diminish the dynamic nature of the online accommodation distribution market.
- Previously: Expedia, Wotif deal raises concerns down under
Sep. 24, 2014, 1:20 PM| Comment!
Sep. 4, 2014, 4:34 AM
- Expedia's (NASDAQ:EXPE) international expansion effort has hit a bump in Australia, after the country's Competition and Consumer Commission announced concerns over its $660M takeover of Wotif.com (OTCPK:WTIFY).
- In its preliminary assessment of the deal, the antitrust regulator says that Expedia's bid could inflate commission rates charged to accommodation providers. The regulator's final decision is due in October.
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