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Priceline's shares will reach $1460 by 11.29.2015
30 october 2015

We are upbeat about the shares of Priceline (PCLN), a major US online travel agency. Priceline recently entered into a partnership agreement with TripAdvisor, a major travel website company providing reviews of travel-related content. TripAdvisor has approximately 60 mn subscribers who have already left 170 mn reviews about various hotels and restaurants all over the world. Priceline recently acquired AS Digital, a provider of restaurant table and reservation-management software. In our opinion, these transactions will expand the company's online booking opportunities and will make its services more popular, thus having a positive effect on the company’s performance.

According to the financial report for 2Q15, revenue rose 7% y-o-y to USD 2.28 bnon the back of a strong start to the holiday season in the US and other countries. Gross bookings of hotels, flights and car rentals through the company's websites soared 10.5% y-o-y (26% taking into account devaluation effects) to USD 15 bn, while international bookings increased 12% y-o-y, accounting for 87% of total bookings. Operating profit fell 1.3% y-o-y to USD 781 mn. Adjusted EPS decreased 0.5% y-o-y to USD 12.5. The company generates significant cash flows, allowing it to buy back shares. The company spent USD 986 mn on buyback over the first six months of the year.

We are upbeat about the company’s future prospects. In our opinion, the global travel industry will continue to recover as the global economy improves, and Priceline has every chance to become a major beneficiary of this trend. The company’s advantage is high diversification and a global business approach (most revenue is generated on foreign markets). Priceline pays special attention to emerging markets in Asia and Latin America, which hold great upside potential as regards the rollout of online travel booking. We are also upbeat about Priceline’s recent acquisitions, which should increase the company’s capitalization in the long term.

We left our target price for the name unchanged at USD 1,480 and reiterate a Buy recommendation in the mid-term. The short-term technical target is USD 1,460.

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Priceline's shares will reach $1460 by 11.29.2015

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