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Evercore Upgrades Priceline To Buy Citing Scale Advantages And EU Penetration

With the growing importance of machine learning and artificial intelligence, the need for audience data platforms to deliver in terms of execution, innovation and differentiation would become mission critical, Evercore ISI’s Ken Sena said in a report.

Analyst Sena upgraded the rating on Priceline Group Inc PCLN from Hold to Buy, citing its scale and EU penetration. The price target has been raised from $1,350 to $1,650.

The advances made by Cloud advances in mobile is creating an increasing number of computing touchpoints, which provides inputs into several major Big Data trends, including analytics, automation and machine learning, Sena mentioned.

As Cloud permeates our daily lives and also boosts online adoption in the world’s lesser penetrated areas, there would likely be “an explosion in device touchpoints and data over the next five years,” the analyst wrote. He added that Priceline has been highly data focused, relying on data-driven decisions and rolling out offerings quickly based on this.

Advantage Priceline

“Priceline shares offer scale advantage, execution track record, and value,” Sena commented. Booking.com provides the company a leading global position in travel as well as a deep penetration of independents and share of the European OTA market, both of which are currently more than 50 percent.

Priceline is generating growth above peers, even with a base that is twice that of its peers, the Evercore report pointed out. Despite its higher growth and scale, the company’s stock trades in-line to below travel peers.

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DateFirmActionFromTo
Aug 2016Evercore ISI GroupUpgradesHoldBuy
Aug 2016Goldman SachsMaintainsNeutral
Aug 2016UBSMaintainsBuy

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