Priceline Group Inc. Offers Weak Outlook Amid Mixed Q1 Earnings

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Priceline Group Inc. (Nasdaq: PCLN) late Tuesday posted mixed first quarter earnings results and offered a subpar forecast for the current period, sending its shares lower in aftermarket trading.

The Norwalk, CT-based online travel agency reported Q1:

  • earnings per share (EPS) of $9.88, which was $1.04 better than the Wall Street consensus estimate of $8.84 [while]
  • revenues rose 12.6% from last year to $2.42 billion, just missing analysts’ view for $2.45 billion.

Looking ahead, Priceline forecast:

  • Q2 EPS of $13.30 to $14.00, well below the $15.05 that Wall Street is looking for and
  • sees room nights booked up 16% to 21% in the current period,
    • with gross travel bookings jumping 12% to 17%,
    • and gross profit gaining 14% to 19%.

Glenn Fogel, Chief Executive Officer of the Priceline Group, commented via press release:

“The Priceline Group is off to a strong start in 2017 with solid growth in room nights and rental car days booked.

Globally, our brands booked over 173 million room nights during the quarter, up 27% over the same period last year. continues to extend its accommodations network, with over 1.2 million properties on its platform, including hotels, homes and apartments, up 36% over last year.

Our rental car business grew rental car days by 15% over the 1st quarter of last year, an acceleration from 14% in the 4th quarter.”

Priceline Group Inc. shares fell $59.13 (-3.09%) in after-hours trading Tuesday. Year-to-date, PCLN has gained 30.36%, versus a 7.58% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

PCLN currently has a POWR Rating of A (Strong Buy), and is ranked #5 of 45 stocks in the Internet category.

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