Priceline PCLN is slated to report first quarter earnings results on May 4 after the bell.
The company has been in the news recently because its CEO Darren Huston resigned recently following an internal investigation on his personal conduct with a female employee. One would have thought that such news would lead to investor concern about the company’s future given the competitive and dynamic market scenario. But the company assured us that there were suitable people to take over his roles (former CEO and current Chairman Jeffery Boyd as interim CEO of Priceline.com and Gillian Tans as CEO of Booking.com).
Another factor (and perhaps the more significant one) was Expedia’s strong results that made investors optimistic about Priceline’s results as well. To see if the optimism is justified, let’s take a quick look at how it has been doing recently.
Quarter Four Highlights
In the last quarter, Priceline beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate on both the top and bottom lines. It exceeded its own (albeit conservative) guidance on revenue, bookings, EBITDA and earnings.
Currency continued to pressure results since most of the business is generated overseas. But the company grew ADR, revenue and margins regardless (after adjusting for seasonality).
The relatively benign oil prices had a positive impact on consumer discretionary spending. Also, air tickets were...