Priceline.com (PCLN) (4Q04 earnings)

| About: Booking Holdings (BKNG)
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Priceline (ticker: PCLN) announced Q4 results that beat consensus EPS estimates by $0.06. The stock rose by 6% in subsequent trading. Details and two quick comments:


Q4 Results
(all percentages changes and comparisons are year on year, unless stated otherwise)

  • Adjusted EPS $0.22 versus consensus of $0.16.
  • Revenue of $195 million up 8.2% and slightly below consensus estimate of $195.13.
  • Gross travel bookings of $414 million up 61%. Organic gross booking up by over 30%.
  • Pro-forma gross profit $51.5 million, up 62%.
  • Pro-forma net income $8.8 million.
  • Air ticket bookings up 61%, hotel bookings up 51%, rental car bookings up 16%.
  • Online advertising cost rose to $8.52 million from $4.06 million. Offline advertising fell slightly to $6.02 million.
  • Airline ticket units sold rose by 61%.
  • Hotel room nights units sold rose by 51%.
  • Rental car days units sold rose by 16%.

Q1 Guidance

  • Pro-forma EPS of $0.18-0.22 versus consensus of $0.22.
  • No revenue guidance, consensus is $239.11 million.
  • Gross travel bookings up 30-35%.
  • Pro-forma gross profit up 30-35%.

Full Year 2005 Guidance

  • Pro-forma EPS in line with current consensus of $1.18.
  • No revenue guidance; current consensus is $1.01 billion.

Quick comments

  1. Priceline's travel bookings rose faster than its competitors, so it gained market share.
  2. Priceline is becoming more and more like the other online travel e-tailers. Its "opaque product" (name your own price without knowing the airline) has been in strong decline relative to standard flight bookings, and it's aggressively moved to cross sell hotels and car rentals like its major competitors.
PCLN chart below.

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