The Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ:PCLN) saw an uptick in trading volume on Friday . 865,004 shares were traded during 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.

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

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

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 firm earned $2.15 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.12 billion. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $8.12 earnings per share. Analysts expect that The Priceline Group Inc. will post $66.87 EPS for the current year.

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

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Edgewood Management LLC increased its stake in shares of The Priceline Group by 3.0% in the fourth quarter. Edgewood Management LLC now owns 505,026 shares of the company’s stock worth $643,883,000 after buying an additional 14,833 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in The Priceline Group by 7.2% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 95,459 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,714,000 after buying an additional 6,449 shares during the period. BlackRock Advisors LLC increased its position in The Priceline Group by 7.6% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Advisors LLC now owns 90,502 shares of the company’s stock worth $115,386,000 after buying an additional 6,417 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in The Priceline Group by 0.7% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 69,033 shares of the company’s stock worth $88,014,000 after buying an additional 504 shares during the period. Finally, Schroder Investment Management Group increased its position in The Priceline Group by 77.9% in the fourth quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 39,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $50,488,000 after buying an additional 17,337 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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