The Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ:PCLN) shares saw an uptick in trading volume on Friday . 865,004 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 64% from the previous session’s volume of 528,246 shares.The stock last traded at $1,343.65 and had previously closed at $1,326.10.

Several research firms recently commented on PCLN. Benchmark Co. reduced their price objective on The Priceline Group from $1,525.00 to $1,440.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, May 5th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $1,600.00 target price (down from $1,700.00) on shares of The Priceline Group in a report on Wednesday, May 4th. Morgan Stanley restated an “equal weight” rating and issued a $1,330.00 target price on shares of The Priceline Group in a report on Thursday, May 5th. Cantor Fitzgerald restated a “buy” rating on shares of The Priceline Group in a report on Sunday, May 22nd. Finally, Vetr cut The Priceline Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $1,316.39 target price for the company. in a report on Wednesday, May 25th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eighteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $1,461.40.

The firm has a market cap of $67.05 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.59. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $1,312.12 and a 200 day moving average of $1,262.59.

The Priceline Group (NASDAQ:PCLN) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 4th. The company reported $10.54 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $9.66 by $0.88. The business earned $2.15 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.12 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $8.12 EPS. The Priceline Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that The Priceline Group Inc. will post $66.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CEO Gillian Tans sold 131 shares of The Priceline Group stock in a transaction on Monday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $1,281.95, for a total value of $167,935.45. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 6,310 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,089,104.50. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO Jeffery H. Boyd sold 3,000 shares of The Priceline Group stock in a transaction on Friday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $1,266.92, for a total value of $3,800,760.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 98,039 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $124,207,569.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Andra AP fonden increased its stake in The Priceline Group by 83.3% in the fourth quarter. Andra AP fonden now owns 2,200 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,805,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the period. Deere & Co. increased its stake in The Priceline Group by 55.5% in the fourth quarter. Deere & Co. now owns 3,525 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,494,000 after buying an additional 1,258 shares during the period. KBC Group NV increased its stake in The Priceline Group by 2.7% in the fourth quarter. KBC Group NV now owns 32,952 shares of the company’s stock worth $42,012,000 after buying an additional 862 shares during the period. Bailard Inc. purchased a new stake in The Priceline Group during the fourth quarter worth about $1,128,000. Finally, MUFG Americas increased its stake in The Priceline Group by 2.4% in the third quarter. MUFG Americas now owns 2,414 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,986,000 after buying an additional 57 shares during the period.

The Priceline Group Inc is a provider of travel and restaurant reservation and related services. The Company, through its online travel companies (OTCs), connects consumers wishing to make travel reservations with providers of travel services across the world. It offers consumers an array of accommodation reservations (including hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels, apartments, vacation rentals and other properties) through its Booking.com, priceline.com and agoda.com brands.

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