Priceline Group (PCLN) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Priceline Group (NASDAQ:PCLN) from a sell rating to a buy rating in a report published on Tuesday. The firm currently has $2,074.00 price objective on the business services provider’s stock.

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 12-month period, the stock has underperformed the industry it belongs to.”

A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on PCLN. Deutsche Bank reiterated a hold rating and issued a $2,050.00 price target on shares of Priceline Group in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. Barclays reiterated a buy rating and issued a $2,150.00 price target on shares of Priceline Group in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Citigroup reiterated a buy rating and issued a $2,050.00 price target on shares of Priceline Group in a research note on Tuesday, November 7th. Stifel Nicolaus cut their price target on Priceline Group from $2,100.00 to $2,000.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, November 7th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada increased their price target on Priceline Group from $2,050.00 to $2,100.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 7th. Eleven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-one have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $2,010.80.

Shares of Priceline Group (NASDAQ PCLN) traded up $26.30 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $1,919.40. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 555,272 shares, compared to its average volume of 454,797. Priceline Group has a 1-year low of $1,528.01 and a 1-year high of $2,067.99. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.68, a current ratio of 2.52 and a quick ratio of 2.52. The stock has a market cap of $94,160.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.89, a PEG ratio of 1.28 and a beta of 1.39.

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. Priceline Group had a return on equity of 33.02% and a net margin of 29.20%. The business had revenue of $4.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.34 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $29.69 EPS. Priceline Group’s revenue for the quarter was up 20.1% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts anticipate that Priceline Group will post 74.42 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Director Jan L. Docter sold 1,200 shares of the stock in a transaction dated 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 transaction, the director now owns 142 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $250,561.84. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Gillian Tans sold 122 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $1,940.00, for a total transaction of $236,680.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 5,555 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,776,700. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 1,567 shares of company stock valued at $2,781,444. 0.24% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in PCLN. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Priceline Group by 23.7% in the 2nd quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 678 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $1,268,000 after acquiring an additional 130 shares during the last quarter. Argent Trust Co raised its position in Priceline Group by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. Argent Trust Co now owns 767 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,434,000 after purchasing an additional 5 shares during the period. Carderock Capital Management Inc. raised its position in Priceline Group by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter. Carderock Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,683 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $3,147,000 after purchasing an additional 24 shares during the period. Gareth Morgan Investments Limited Partnership raised its position in Priceline Group by 57.1% in the 2nd quarter. Gareth Morgan Investments Limited Partnership now owns 5,186 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $9,701,000 after purchasing an additional 1,884 shares during the period. Finally, WESPAC Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Priceline Group in the 2nd quarter worth about $299,000. 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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