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Priceline (PCLN) Shares Swooning Despite Solid Q1 Results

Online travel booking is a highly fragmented market, so the handful of players that have made it big take up all the attention. Expedia EXPE, which is more focused on the domestic market and Priceline PCLN, which is more focused on international markets have been particularly popular with investors.  

The U.S. Commerce Department estimates that international travel to the U.S. will grow at a CAGR of 3.1% from 2015 to 2020 with visitor volume growing from 0.4% in 2015 to 2.6% this year. Inbound travel volumes from Mexico, China, Canada and the UK will be the highest during this period. Market research data also indicates generally stronger prices. The Brussels bombing are a concern given Priceline’s exposure to the market.

Expedia’s strong results last week therefore raised expectations for Priceline as well, which rode higher (up 2.85% to date). Notwithstanding the fact that one of its most important officials, CEO Darren Huston also resigned last week after an internal investigation into his personal conduct with a female employee.

Shares are also up over 29% since the company reported solid results in February. Estimates have dropped 17 cents however because of continued negative currency impact.

Note that the company has a good track record: its beaten estimates in each of the last four quarters at an average rate of 4.8% but this hasn’t always paid off in terms of share price appreciation.

Priceline shares carry a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

We have highlighted some of the key details from the just-released announcement below:

Earnings: PCLN beat on earnings. The Zacks Consensus Estimate called for EPS of $8.73, which the company’s earnings (adjusted for amortization, investment impairment, loss on debt extinguishment and tax) beat by a wide margin.  

Revenue: Priceline beat on revenues. It posted revenues of $2.15 billion, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 1.3%.

Key Stats: The much larger Agency business continued to grow revenue strongly, with merchant continuing to drop off. Hotel room nights and rental car days were strong with air tickets seeing some weakness. As far as bookings are concerned, both agency and merchant were up strongly.

Stock Price: Shares are selling off strongly in the pre-market, presumably because of the impairment of some investment that wasn’t explained in the earnings release.

Check back later for our full write up on this PCLN earnings report later!

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EXPEDIA INC (EXPE): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
PRICELINE.COM (PCLN): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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