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Feb. 13, 2014, 1:21 PM
- 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
Feb. 13, 2014, 6:52 AM
Feb. 12, 2014, 12:03 PM
- TripAdvisor (TRIP +8.3%) is making new highs after beating Q4 revenue estimates and providing strong guidance on its CC (transcript). The travel reviews leader said it expects 2014 revenue growth to be in the mid-20s range (consensus is at 21.9%), and for EBITDA to grow at a similar clip.
- TripAdvisor expects click-based (CPC) ad sales to show accelerating growth in 2014, with full-year growth in the low-20s range. Display ad sales (CPM-based) are expected to grow at a high-teens rate, and all other businesses (subscriptions, transactions, etc.) are expected to collectively grow in the low-50s range.
- CPC ad sales made up 68% of Q4 revenue, display ads 15%, and all other businesses 17%. North American sales (51% of revenue) rose 22%, EMEA 30%, and Asia-Pac 40%. Latin America was flat.
- Mobile's share of TripAdvisor traffic doubled to 40% in 2013, and app downloads rose nearly 150% to 82M. Travel listings rose 80% to 550K, and business listing subs 38% to 69K.
- Priceline (PCLN +2.5%) and Expedia (EXPE +1.1%), both major TripAdvisor clients, are also trading higher. Expedia took off last week following a Q4 beat. Priceline, which launched an updated Android app this morning, reports on Feb. 20.
Feb. 6, 2014, 5:47 PM
- Expedia (EXPE) has soared to new highs after handily beating Q4 EPS estimates and reporting a sizable acceleration in gross bookings growth (+21% Y/Y vs. +15% in Q3). Archrival Priceline (PCLN) is following Expedia higher, as is Orbitz (OWW), whose shares are up 2.4% AH.
- The bookings growth was fueled by a 25% Y/Y increase in hotel room nights (up from 20% in Q3), and a 13% increase in air tickets sold. Revenue/hotel room night fell 9%, and revenue per air ticket rose 3%.
- Domestic bookings +19% Y/Y to $4.98B, international bookings +24% to $4.12B. Agency bookings +26% to $5.25B, merchant bookings +15% to $3.86B.
- Much like Priceline, Expedia continues spending heavily on search ads: Sales/marketing spend +23% Y/Y to $484M (42% of revenue). Technology/content spend +15% to $155M.
- If history is any guide, TripAdvisor (TRIP) might also follow Expedia higher. TripAdvisor reports on Feb. 11, and Priceline on Feb. 20.
Jan. 21, 2014, 11:40 AM
- Cowen argues the unnatural link penalty imposed by Google on Expedia's (EXPE -4.5%) placement within Google search results is likely to be resolved within a few weeks, and unlikely to have a major impact on the online travel site's results.
- Though shares are still down sharply on the day, Cowen's note has helped Expedia bounce off its intraday low of $65.14.
- Both Expedia and archrival Priceline (PCLN +0.9%) depend heavily on Google-related traffic, and have been ramping their Google ad spend to grab a larger share of it. Priceline spent $533.2M on online ad spend in Q3 (+42% Y/Y), and Expedia spent $625.3M (+24%) on sales/marketing in total.
- TripAdvisor (TRIP -2.6%), which acts as a major referral traffic source for Expedia, is following Expedia lower.
Jan. 7, 2014, 10:56 AM
- Research firm ForeSee is out with some interesting analysis on customer experience trends for the holiday shopping season.
- Leading the pack of retailers in satisfying their customers was Amazon (AMZN +1.1%) and L.L. Bean, while Priceline.com (PCLN +1.5%) lagged
- Other notable results was a striking improvement by Wal-Mart (WMT +0.4%) in mobile satisfaction and the upset by grocery store chain Publix (PUSH +3.3%) to top Apple for the in-store satisfaction category.
Jan. 6, 2014, 12:22 PM
- The rapid evolution of Internet-connected cars is expected to be a major theme at 2014 Consumer Electronics Show this year. Mercedes (DDAIF), Audi (VLKAY), Ford (F), BMW (BAMXY), and Chrysler (FIATY) will all showcase new services which enable consumers to link mobile devices to their cars.
- Priceline.com (PCLN +0.2%) has a new partnership with General Motors (GM +1.5%) that will see the company's hotel booking service become available within the new Chevrolet AppShop. Watch for a great deal of talk on how the automaker's OnStar system fits into the evolution of infotainment systems in the industry with heavyweight Google and others quite active in the field.
- Other highlights from automakers include a closer look at BMW's all-electric i3 and Ford's highly anticipated C-Max Solar Energi.
- Though demonstrations of self-driving cars will be a crowd pleaser, the nascent technology doesn't threaten to disrupt the market for a few more years at least. (Related: Google, you can drive my car).
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
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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