Priceline Group (PCLN) Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Priceline Group (NASDAQ:PCLN) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Priceline.com is benefiting from continued momentum in both agency and merchant businesses. Room nights and Rental cars have performed impressively. We remain positive about the secular growth trend in the online travel booking market, Priceline’s strong position in international markets, growth opportunities in the domestic market, good execution, prudent marketing strategy and strong financial position are positives. At the same time, weaker ADRs and airline tickets, macro headwinds, increasing advertising spend and occupancy tax-related litigation remain overhangs. Over the last one year, the stock has underperformed the industry it belongs to.”
A number of other analysts have also issued reports on PCLN. Bank of America reiterated a buy rating and set a $2,150.00 price target on shares of Priceline Group in a research note on Tuesday, September 26th. Morgan Stanley reiterated an overweight rating and set a $2,100.00 price target (up from $2,050.00) on shares of Priceline Group in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. SunTrust Banks reiterated a buy rating and set a $2,200.00 price target on shares of Priceline Group in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Barclays reiterated a buy rating and set a $2,150.00 price target on shares of Priceline Group in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Finally, Deutsche Bank reiterated a hold rating and set a $2,050.00 price target on shares of Priceline Group in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating, twenty-two have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Priceline Group presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $2,002.06.
Priceline Group (NASDAQ:PCLN) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, November 6th. The business services provider reported $35.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $34.31 by $0.91. The company had revenue of $4.43 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.34 billion. Priceline Group had a net margin of 29.20% and a return on equity of 33.02%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 20.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $29.69 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that Priceline Group will post 74.42 EPS for the current fiscal year.
In other news, CEO Gillian Tans sold 122 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $1,940.00, for a total value of $236,680.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 5,555 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,776,700. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Jan L. Docter sold 1,200 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $1,764.52, for a total value of $2,117,424.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 142 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $250,561.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 1,567 shares of company stock valued at $2,781,444 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 0.24% of the company’s stock.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of PCLN. Harding Loevner LP lifted its holdings in shares of Priceline Group by 2,593.1% during the third quarter. Harding Loevner LP now owns 5,254,041 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $347,846,000 after purchasing an additional 5,058,945 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its holdings in shares of Priceline Group by 654.1% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 642,567 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,201,971,000 after purchasing an additional 557,358 shares during the period. Capital Research Global Investors lifted its holdings in shares of Priceline Group by 7.1% during the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 1,622,668 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $3,035,233,000 after purchasing an additional 108,187 shares during the period. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. acquired a new stake in Priceline Group in the third quarter valued at $174,056,000. Finally, Flossbach Von Storch AG lifted its holdings in Priceline Group by 30,890.9% in the third quarter. Flossbach Von Storch AG now owns 85,225 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $156,032,000 after acquiring an additional 84,950 shares during the period. 94.39% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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Priceline Group Company Profile
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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