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Priceline Group Inc. (PCLN)

  • Thu, Feb. 19, 9:12 AM
  • Thu, Feb. 19, 7:34 AM
    • Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN) reports net income rose 22% Y/Y to $577M in Q4.
    • Total gross bookings +17% to $10.7B (+23% in constant currency).
    • On the expense side, online advertising was up 25.2% to $499.0M.
    • A share buyback program of $3B is approved.
    • Guidance: The company sees total gross bookings growth of 2% to 9% for Q1 (14%-21% in constant currency). Revenue growth of 4% to 11% expected.
    • Previously: Priceline beats by $0.75, beats on revenue
    • Previously: Priceline to acquire Rocketmiles for $20M
    • PCLN +7.3% premarket to $1,204.89.
  • Thu, Feb. 19, 7:17 AM
    • Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN): Q4 EPS of $10.85 beats by $0.75.
    • Revenue of $1.84B (+19.5% Y/Y) beats by $40M.
    • Shares +5.97% PM.
    • Press Release
  • Thu, Feb. 12, 9:29 AM
    • Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN) is up premarket to $1,083.00 after Expedia announced it's buying Orbitz for $1.6B, thereby further consolidating the online travel market (especially in the U.S., where Orbitz gets nearly 3/4 of its sales). The agreement follows a January deal by Expedia to acquire Travelocity, which was already relying on Expedia's inventory.
    • Also possibly helping Priceline: TripAdvisor, which acts as a major referral traffic source for Priceline and Expedia, is soaring after beating Q4 revenue estimates (while missing on EPS) and offering above-consensus 2015 sales guidance.
    • Priceline's own Q4 results are due in 7 days. Shares have risen 9% from a Jan. 16 low of $990.69.
  • Tue, Feb. 10, 10:11 AM
    • Strong earnings reports from Starwood Hotels & Resorts (HOT +6.4%) and Wyndham Worldwide (WYN +7.1%) have given a boost to the lodging sector.
    • The group is showing improved efficiency as demand and pricing stays ahead of the rate of capacity growth.
    • Gainers: Hyatt Hotels (NYSE:H) +3.8%, Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR) +3.6%, Intercontinental Hotels (NYSE:IHG) +2.7%, Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH) +2.1%, Hilton Worldwide (NYSE:HLT) +1.4%, Extended Stay America (NYSE:STAY) +1.2%, Morgans Hotel Group (NASDAQ:MHGC) +1.2%.
    • Associated with the sector, Priceline (PCLN +1.8%) and Orbitz Worldwide (OWW +3.1%) are also trading above market averages.
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  • Fri, Feb. 6, 9:31 AM
    • "We are expecting a deceleration in revenue growth in 2015 on headwinds from Travelocity implementation, further impact from the reduction of our hotel margins, the negative impact of foreign currency and the continued success of our loyalty programs," stated Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) CFO Mark Okerstrom on the Q4 CC (transcript). The revenue boost from the Wotif acquisition will partly offset.
    • Okerstrom added Expedia isn't "expecting any meaningful adjusted EBITDA growth in the first quarter and expect the bulk of our adjusted EBITDA dollar growth to come in the back half of the year." Excluding the 65%-owned Chinese eLong (LONG -4.8%) unit, which is expected to see losses grow amid tough competition from Ctrip/Qunar, adjusted EBITDA growth is expected to be in the 10%-15% range, with forex having a 5% impact.
    • Expedia's Q4 gross bookings rose 24% Y/Y to $11.3B, but revenue rose a more modest 19% and adjusted EBITDA (exc. eLong) 13%. A 10% Y/Y drop in revenue/hotel room night and 6% drop in revenue/air ticket (both hurt by forex) pressured the top line, and a 29% increase in sales/marketing spend (thanks to Google and TV ad spend) pressured the bottom line.
    • Some positives: Hotel room night still rose 28%, and air tickets sold 30%. U.S. bookings grew 29%, and international 18% (forex again).
    • Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN), which has heavier international exposure than Expedia, is also lower. Its Q4 report arrives on Feb. 19.
    • Expedia's Q4 results, PR (.pdf)
    | 1 Comment
  • Thu, Jan. 15, 6:00 PM
    • Thanks to today's 3.6% drop, Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN) closed below $1,000 for the first time since Oct. 2013. Shares are now down 28% from a 52-week high of $1,378.96.
    • In addition to the Nasdaq's 1.5% drop, fresh losses for the euro (following Switzerland's abandoning of its efforts to halt the franc's rise against the euro) might have hurt Priceline's cause today. With Priceline receiving 88% of its bookings from international markets (much of it from Europe, via, forex has been worrying the Street for some time.
    • In other news, has rolled out a new app (called Booking Now) aimed at travelers looking to make quick/spontaneous decisions. After users provide a set of preferences, the app delivers a personalized list of hotels that can be booked with a few taps. It takes aim at fast-growing HotelTonight.
  • Thu, Jan. 8, 9:59 AM
    • Believing "the best days for shares may be behind it," Stifel's Scott Devitt has downgraded Google (GOOG -1.4%) to Hold. "Google is in the early to mid stages of a core business maturation. The company continues to find growth outside of search, but in structurally lower-margin business [segments] such as Google Play and YouTube."
    • Devitt adds Google will face stiff competition as it further expands into vertical search categories such as travel, local, and e-commerce - some of those efforts have been faring well - and echoes other analysts in arguing Facebook's growing share of digital ad spend poses a threat.
    • Devitt has also downgraded Priceline (PCLN -1.3%) to Hold, citing concerns about forex  - the impact of a weak euro is already well-known - high marketing spend, and growing competition. "The online travel market continues to benefit from secular tailwinds such as mobile adoption, but we believe that shifts in the competitive landscape and macro headwinds warrant a moderate 2015 outlook."
    • TripAdvisor (TRIP +0.4%) has been cut to Hold due to worries about delayed booking service launches and higher marketing spend, as well as growth concerns about TripAdvisor's core metasearch service (previous).
    • Google, Priceline and TripAdvisor were already fairly close to their 52-week lows going into today. Google and Priceline both now trade for 17x 2015E EPS. Their 2015 revenue growth consensus estimates are respectively at 19% and 17%.
  • Nov. 4, 2014, 9:15 AM
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  • Nov. 4, 2014, 7:59 AM
    • Q3 non-GAAP net income of $1.2B up 29% Y/Y. Non-GAAP EPS of $22.16 vs. $17.30 a year ago.
    • Gross travel bookings of $13.8B up 28% Y/Y.
    • CEO Darren Huston notes a "mixed macro-economic backdrop, particularly in Europe."
    • Q4 guidance: Gross travel bookings up 8-15%. Non-GAAP EPS of $9.40-$10.10 vs. the Street at $10.91.
    • Previously: beats by $1.05, revenue in-line
    • Conference call is underway
    • PCLN -6.8% premarket
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  • 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%.
    | 1 Comment
  • Jul. 1, 2014, 1:48 PM
    • Oppenheimer has launched coverage on Priceline (PCLN +3.4%) and Expedia (EXPE +2.6%) at Outperform. Its PTs are respectively $1,450 and $90.
    • Priceline has bounced strongly from a May low of $1,087, but remains well below an early March high of $1,378. Expedia, on the other hand, is closing in a February high of $81.78.
    • Expedia rallied last Friday after announcing it's buying European car rental site Auto Escape. The purchase followed last year's closing of a $632M deal to buy a 61.6% stake in hotel metasearch platform Trivago (big in Europe).
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  • Jun. 23, 2014, 1:16 PM
    • Sources tell dealReporter OpenTable (OPEN +0.1%) talked with bidders other than Priceline (PCLN -0.1%) before accepting the online travel giant's $2.6B bid.
    • Though a higher offer is seen as unlikely, one source thinks Yahoo (set to receive an Alibaba IPO windfall) could make a bid. OpenTable is currently 1.9% above Priceline's $103/share offer price.
    • Yelp (YELP +3.6%), which blasted off after Priceline/OpenTable was announced, is rallying again. Volatile restaurant deals microcap LiveDeal (LIVE +9.3%) is also up strongly.
    • Previous: Street commentary on Priceline/OpenTable
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  • Jun. 13, 2014, 2:31 PM
    • Priceline's (PCLN -2.8%) market cap has fallen by $1.6B since announcing a $2.6B deal to buy restaurant reservation leader OpenTable.
    • With shares of many other local services firms following OpenTable higher - Yelp is up 13.8% - the Street is betting Priceline's move will spark further M&A activity, with some of it possibly coming from Priceline.
    • "We see this deal as likely part of Priceline's move into offering a much broader range of local e-commerce services to what is a very attractive customer set," writes RBC (Outperform).
    • OpenTable's platform supports 31K+ restaurants and seats 15M+ diners/month. The company towers over the U.S. market, but is seeing growing competition from Yelp, TripAdvisor (TRIP - just bought European leader LaFourchette), Groupon, and other firms going after restaurants unhappy with OpenTable's pricing.
    • In spite of the steep price tag - Priceline is paying 9.9x 2015E sales - analyst commentary is mostly positive. Not surprisingly, much of it centers around cross-selling opportunities between OpenTable and Priceline's travel bookings offerings.
    | Comment!
  • Jun. 13, 2014, 8:07 AM
    • The all-cash deal valuing OPEN at $2.6B is expected to close in Q3. The price is a 46% premium to last night's close.
    • “The kind of work that we do day-to-day is very similar,” says Priceline (PCLN) CEO Darren Huston. “It’s just a different marketplace.”
    • A conference call to discuss is set for 8:30 ET.
    • Source: Press Release
  • May. 2, 2014, 10:45 AM
    • Though Expedia (EXPE -2.7%) beat Q1 estimates on the back of solid bookings growth, the company reiterated guidance for 13-16% full-year adjusted EBITDA growth on its CC (transcript), while adding "the vast majority" of the growth will happen in 2H14.
    • Moreover, when asked by Deutsche's Ross Sandler whether hotel room night growth (24% Y/Y in Q1 and 25% in Q4) could accelerate to 30%+ in Q2 given an "easy comp" for Hotwire (the business struggled in Q2 last year) and a shift in Easter's timing from Q1 to Q2, CFO Mark Okerstrom chose to punt. "Well, I would say that Hotwire is actually a headwind for us until Q3 ... we don't expect that Q2 is a particularly easy comp for us on the bottom line."
    • Priceline (PCLN -0.1%), which is near breakeven in spite of Expedia's decline, has been providing tough competition for Hotwire in the opaque travel bookings space. Its Q1 report arrives on May 8.
    • Expedia's gross bookings rose 29% Y/Y in Q1 to $12.6B, an improvement from Q4's 21% clip and Q3's 15%. U.S. bookings rose 35% to $7.43B, and international bookings 21% to $5.2B. Room nights +24% with a 10% drop in revenue/night, air tickets sold +30% with a 1% increase in airfare.
    • Heavy online ad spend led sales/marketing expenses to grow 26% to $624.7M (52% of revenue). The Travelocity deal boosted room night growth by 3%, and air ticket growth by 18%.
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Company Description
Priceline Group Inc is a provider of online travel and travel related reservation and search services. The Company offer consumers accommodation reservations through its, and brands.
Sector: Services
Country: United States