The Priceline Group Inc. (PCLN) Stock Rating Reaffirmed by Jefferies Group LLC
The Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ:PCLN)‘s stock had its “buy” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Jefferies Group LLC in a research note issued on Friday. They presently have a $2,250.00 price objective on the business services provider’s stock. Jefferies Group LLC’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 9.81% from the company’s previous close.
The analysts wrote, “PCLN reported a strong qtr but that was not enough and stock declined 6% after the close. Conservative guidance, as usual, did not help either. While gross bookings did not beat high end of guidance for the 1st time in 11 qtrs, we don’t think PCLN’s fundamentals have changed. With gross bookings up 16% Y/Y (vs EXPE’s +12%), PCLN keeps gaining market share. We see any pullback in the stock as a buying opportunity. We maintain our Buy and raise PT to $2,300. PCLN reported a strong qtr with rev up 18% Y/Y to $3.02B vs. cons ests of $2.99B. Adj EBITDA of $974MM was ahead of Street ests of $927MM and guidance of $860-905MM. Non-GAAP EPS of $15.14 easily beat Street’s $14.20 and guidance of $13.30-$14.00. Gross bookings hit $20.80B in Q2 (+16% Y/Y / +19% ex-FX), slightly below cons ests of $21.06B but close to the high end of guidance. We believe this was a fluke and not a sign of fundamental changes. Adj EBITDA margin improved 40bps and remains 2x+ EXPE’s. Agency bookings at $17.95B were slightly below Street’s $18.17B, while Merchant bookings of $2.85B came in slightly above cons at $2.80B. Bookings growth was driven by 21% Y/Y growth in hotel room nights and 12% Y/Y growth in rental car days, offsetting 9% decline in air tickets.””
A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on PCLN. Credit Suisse Group set a $2,150.00 price target on shares of The Priceline Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 1st. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated an “overweight” rating and set a $110.00 price target (down from $2,150.00) on shares of The Priceline Group in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on shares of The Priceline Group from $1,950.00 to $2,100.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 18th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of The Priceline Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Macquarie boosted their price target on shares of The Priceline Group from $1,970.00 to $2,000.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 10th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, twenty-six have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $1,899.45.
Shares of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ PCLN) opened at 2049.00 on Friday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $1,937.58 and its 200-day moving average price is $1,795.67. The firm has a market capitalization of $100.69 billion, a PE ratio of 46.26 and a beta of 1.42. The Priceline Group has a 52-week low of $1,392.44 and a 52-week high of $2,067.99.
The Priceline Group (NASDAQ:PCLN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 8th. The business services provider reported $15.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $14.25 by $0.89. The Priceline Group had a net margin of 20.12% and a return on equity of 33.94%. The business had revenue of $3.02 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.99 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $13.93 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 18.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that The Priceline Group will post $74.20 EPS for the current fiscal year.
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In related news, Director Jan L. Docter sold 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $1,857.67, for a total transaction of $2,786,505.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 346 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $642,753.82. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Gillian Tans sold 122 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $1,814.00, for a total transaction of $221,308.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 6,044 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,963,816. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 1,744 shares of company stock worth $3,245,648 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.42% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in PCLN. Shine Investment Advisory Services Inc. purchased a new position in shares of The Priceline Group during the second quarter valued at about $105,000. Hartford Financial Management Inc. bought a new position in The Priceline Group during the first quarter worth $106,000. Capital Advisors Ltd. LLC bought a new position in The Priceline Group during the second quarter worth $112,000. Webster Bank N. A. increased its position in The Priceline Group by 24.0% in the first quarter. Webster Bank N. A. now owns 62 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $110,000 after buying an additional 12 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Assetmark Inc. increased its position in The Priceline Group by 12.5% in the first quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 63 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $112,000 after buying an additional 7 shares in the last quarter. 95.01% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
About The Priceline Group
The Priceline Group Inc is a provider of travel and restaurant online 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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