Nov. 20, 2013, 7:20 AM
- One thousand five hundred is Goldman's new price target for Priceline (PCLN) after analyst Heath Terry adds the stock to the firm's Conviction Buy list.
- "One of the most compelling risk/reward scenarios in our internet coverage," is how Terry describes the stock, noting it trades at a discount to its sector on a relative growth basis. "We see increasing upside potential to our already above consensus estimates as [PCLN benefits] from a European recovery, mobile traffic growth, and increasing economies of scale, particularly in customer acquisition."
- The stock's up 1.8% to $1,139 in premarket trade.
Nov. 20, 2013, 6:57 AM
Nov. 8, 2013, 5:42 PM
- "With accelerating growth, a benign macro environment, and the stock trading in line with the group despite faster growth, we continue to believe the risk/reward in owning PCLN is favorable," writes Goldman's Heath Terry following Priceline's (PCLN +4.9%) Q3 beat. His PT has been raised to $1,260 from $1,200, equaling a somewhat lofty 18x estimated 2014 EV/EBITDA.
- Pac Crest's Chad Bartley is just as upbeat - he thinks "low- to middle-20% growth in gross profit and earnings is sustainable for the next two years," and that improving European macro conditions or further U.S. share gains could provide additional upside. Deutsche and JPMorgan also made note of Priceline's share gains, in the U.S. and elsewhere.
- Priceline's gross bookings rose 37.5% Y/Y in Q3, nearly matching Q2's 38% clip. The company is guiding for bookings growth to drop to 27%-34% in Q4, but then again, it provided the same bookings guidance for Q3. Revenue growth guidance (19%-26% vs. a 28% consensus) is also conservative; Priceline reported 33% revenue growth for Q3 after guiding for 23%-30%.
- International bookings (85% of total) soared 42% Y/Y in Q3, while domestic bookings rose 17% (the highest rate since Q1 2012). Hotel rooms +36%, rental car days +28%, air tickets +8.6% (highest growth rate in years).
- Gross margin surged to 42.4% from 37.8% in Q2 and 26.9% a year ago. Online ad spend (much of it going to Google) remains aggressive: it rose 42% Y/Y to $533.2M, and equaled 23% of revenue.
- Q3 results, guidance/CEO change, CC transcript
Nov. 8, 2013, 8:56 AM
- Priceline (PCLN) has been upgraded to Buy by Monness Crespi after beating Q3 estimates, issuing light Q4 EPS guidance, and announcing a CEO change. Shares +2% premarket after initially trading lower in AH trading yesterday.
- Windstream (WIN) has been cut to Underweight by Morgan Stanley a day after missing Q3 estimates. Shares -0.9% premarket after dropping 5.6% yesterday.
- SolarWinds (SWI) has been upgraded to Buy by Needham 10 days after beating Q3 estimates and issuing below-consensus Q4 guidance.
- Aspen Technology (AZPN) has been upgraded to Buy by UBS a week after beating FQ1 estimates and raising full-year guidance.
- SunEdison's (SUNE) PT has been raised to $21 (a Street high) from $11 by Citi two days after the company beat Q3 estimates, issued strong solar division guidance, and raised the possibility of spinning off some of its solar assets into a new company. The company is already set to do an IPO for its chip wafer unit. Shares +6.7% premarket.
Nov. 7, 2013, 4:15 PM
- Priceline (PCLN) reports total bookings rose 27%-34% Y/Y in Q3 as international bookings outpaced domestic bookings.
- The company sees Q4 EPS of $7.80 to $8.30 to fall short of the consensus estimates of analysts of $8.35.
- Darren Huston is named the new President and CEO to replace Jeffrey Boyd who will remain Chairman.(PR)
- PCLN -2.4% AH
Nov. 7, 2013, 4:07 PM
Oct. 30, 2013, 5:16 PM
- What a difference a quarter makes: Three months after Expedia (EXPE) crashed due to a Q2 miss caused partly by poor TripAdvisor-related sales and share losses to Priceline's Booking.com unit, shares are taking off in response to a Q3 beat driven by a pickup in revenue growth (+20% vs. +16% in Q2) and gross bookings growth (+15% vs. +13%).
- Excluding Trivago, Q3 revenue growth would be 14%, and Q2 growth 12%.
- Expedia's domestic bookings (56% of total) rose 13% Y/Y in Q3 after growing only 7% in Q2. International bookings +18% vs. +23%. Domestic revenue +12%, international +23%.
- Hotel revenue (73% of total) +11% Y/Y, air revenue (7% of total) +16%, other revenue (inc. ads, 20% of total) +44%, boosted by Trivago.
- Hotel room nights +20% Y/Y vs. +19%. Revenue per hotel room night fell 7% Y/Y, and average daily room rates were flat.
- $221M was spent on buybacks. Sales/marketing spend rose 24% Y/Y to $625.3M, as Expedia continues competing fiercely with Priceline and others for Google search keywords.
- EXPE +18.3% AH. PCLN +1.5%. TRIP +1%. OWW +2.7%. CTRP +1.8%.
- Q3 results, PR
Oct. 21, 2013, 11:35 AM
- Susquehanna's Brian Nowak has raised his Priceline (PCLN +3%) PT to $1,200 from $1,135, and says checks indicate the company's European Bookings.com unit continues to take share from Expedia (EXPE -0.6%).
- Following its Q2 miss, Expedia admitted it's seeing tougher competition from Bookings.com. Priceline posted very strong international bookings numbers for Q2. Last week, Deutsche downgraded Expedia while stating checks pointed to tougher U.S. competition.
- TripAdvisor (TRIP +1.8%), which does plenty of business with both Priceline and Expedia, is trading higher.
- TripAdvisor reports on Wednesday, Expedia on Oct. 30, and Priceline on Nov. 7.
Oct. 14, 2013, 10:45 AM
- Deutsche's Ross Sandler, who has downgraded Expedia (EXPE -7.8%) to Hold, says checks indicate the company is "facing much more intense competition in the U.S. market." He's also worried about Expedia's decision to shake up Hotels.com's management.
- Expedia crashed in July after missing Q2 estimates and more or less admitting it lost share during the quarter to Priceline (PCLN -1.1%). In August, Deutsche reported its checks suggested Expedia is taking back lost share.
- Priceline and other online travel peers are off moderately. TRIP -1%. TZOO -2.1%. OWW -2.9%.
Sep. 20, 2013, 3:39 PM
- Priceline (PCLN +0.1%) became the 9th publicly-traded company in the U.S. to trade in quadruple digits yesterday when it closed at $1,000.62. It's a level of rarefied air the stock is maintaining today.
- The company is the only tech concern on the list, although Qualcomm was the recipient of a bubble-marking $1,000 price target from Paine Webber in a different era.
- The most recent momentum from Priceline has been spurred in part by solid growth at Booking.com and Agoda.com.
Sep. 19, 2013, 2:15 PM
- comScore estimates U.S. e-commerce sales (exc. travel) rose 12% Y/Y to $26.1B. That's down from Q2's 16% and Q1's 13%.
- RBC's Mark Mahaney views the data as "neutral to negative" for Amazon (AMZN +0.1%) and eBay (EBAY -0.7%), but also largely in-line with his forecast for 15% full-year growth.
- On the other hand, comScore estimates U.S. online travel sales growth rose to 11% in August from Q2's 9% and the highest growth rate seen since Jan. '12. Mahaney views this as a positive for Priceline (PCLN -0.4%), Expedia (EXPE -1%), and TripAdvisor (TRIP +0.1%), and now thinks his 7% full-year growth forecast could be conservative. Others are already forecasting 8%-10% growth.
- Priceline shares topped $1,000 for the first time yesterday, and are currently trading a little below that level.
- Previous: ChannelAdvisor's August same-store sales data
Sep. 12, 2013, 4:33 PM
- Priceline (PCLN) has launched Sponsored Listings, an ad product that gives hotels the ability to show targeted ads to consumers when they search for travel deals on Priceline's sites. (PR)
- In addition to location, hotels can target users based on demographics, length of stay, and other pieces of data.
- The product acts as another source of competition for TripAdvisor (TRIP) and other sites dependent on travel ads.
- Separately, Cantor says its analysis of search trends indicates Priceline's European Booking.com unit continues to perform well, and that its pricing trends generally match expectations.
- Priceline's international bookings rose 44% Y/Y in Q2, and made up 85% of total bookings.
Aug. 22, 2013, 9:48 PM
- Expedia (EXPE) has reached a long-term deal with Travelocity (owned by private travel giant Sabre Holdings) to "power the technology platforms" for Travelocity's U.S. and Canadian sites, as well as to provide its travel inventory and handle customer services. The deal is expected to go live in 2014.
- In an 8-K, Expedia discloses Travelocity will be paid affiliate marketing fees for Expedia bookings made through its sites, and that Expedia could have the right to buy certain Travelocity assets down the line.
- Sabre asserts Travelocity is the #2 online travel agency in the U.S., and the #6 U.S. travel agency overall.
- "It’s a virtual merger," says travel analyst Henry Harteveldt. "It’s as if Costco said it would source everything from Walmart and use Walmart’s ordering system and inventory management system and everything else."
- The deal stands to give Expedia more scale as it continues battling with archrival Priceline (PCLN) in a very competitive North American travel bookings market.
Aug. 15, 2013, 2:08 PM
- Merrill Lynch analyst Savita Subramanian cut consumer discretionary stocks to Underperform on her view the sector is greatly overvalued. Margins are stretched to the limit and rising interest rates are creating some savers out of spenders, she notes.
- Warnings signs of a cautious stance by U.S. consumers have been popping over the last weeks from teenage retailers to restaurants, but the unexpected strength in the automobile market has largely muted the argument. It took Wal-Mart dipping into negative comp sales growth to swing the pendulum on Wall Street in force.
- Related discretionary stocks: HD, LOW, JCI, CMCSA, MCD, PCLN, TJX, VFC.
- Related ETFs: XLY, VCR, PEZ.
Aug. 14, 2013, 2:36 PM
- In addition to making downbeat comments about TripAdvisor's (TRIP -8.5%) summer performance, CEO Steve Kaufer stated Expedia (EXPE -1%) is once more ramping its ad bidding activity on the site, following a Q2 slowdown.
- Expedia took a conservative bidding approach on TripAdvisor in Q2, which in turn took a toll on sales and contributed to Priceline's (PCLN -1%) share gains.
- Deutsche recently reported Expedia regained share from Priceline on TripAdvisor in July.
Aug. 9, 2013, 12:09 PM
- Analysts are rushing to give Priceline (PCLN +4.6%) $1,000+ PTs in the wake of the online travel giant's Q2 beat and healthy guidance.
- Cantor ($1,050) thinks Priceline not only performed well internationally, but "also likely gained ground in the US, benefiting from increased TV ads and Expedia's mis-execution on TripAdvisor." It sees Priceline's "best-in-class hotel inventory" and Kayak's international expansion fueling additional share gains.
- Deutsche ($1,120) thinks Priceline's EBITDA margin (pressured lately by heavy ad spend) could be roughly flat Y/Y in Q3, a notable improvement from recent quarters.
- Evercore ($1,100) declares Booking.com "still enjoys the highest marketing efficiency in the industry." Its PT is based on a lofty multiple of 24x 2014E adjusted EPS.
- Priceline noted on its CC Booking.com now lists 330K+ hotels/accomodations, +40% Y/Y. The company attributed its 410 bps Y/Y op. margin drop to lower (online) ad ROIs, mix shifts, and growing offline ad spend for Kayak and Booking.com.
PCLN vs. ETF Alternatives
Priceline Group Inc is a provider of online travel and travel related reservation and search services. The Company offer consumers accommodation reservations through its Booking.com, priceline.com and agoda.com brands.
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