Priceline Offers Hefty Earnings Beat to Skeptical Investors

Michael Teague |

Priceline Offers Hefty Earnings Beat to Skeptical InvestorsOnline travel booking company Priceline.com, Inc (PCLN), one of the highest-priced stocks on the market, reported first quarter earnings during late trading on Thursday indicating that the company’s profits were $244 million, or $4.76 per share on revenue of $1.3 billion, compared to the prior year period during which the company earned $182 million, or $3.54 per share on revenue of $1.04 billion.

Adjusted earnings for Q1 were at $5.76 per share, and the numbers came in ahead of estimates that had Priceline earning $5.27 per share on revenue of $1.27 billion.

The company cited a 36.4 percent increase in booking across its different businesses, for a total of $9.2 billion. Hotel reservations were up 38 percent on the prior year period, with 63.2 million nights booked. Car rentals and international flights also contributed to growth during the quarter.

But CEO Jeffrey Boyd said that the company expects operating margins to shrink during the current quarter as a result of the company’s continued investments in global growth, economic uncertainty in various regions, and the dense competitiveness of the online travel business.

Priceline forecasted earnings for Q2 of between $8.87 and $9.45 per share, a range that is somewhat shy of the forecasted $9.59 per share. Meanwhile, though the company expects 15 to 22 percent revenue growth, between $1.53 billion and $1.62 billion, analysts estimated sales of $1.62 billion.

In late trading, the company’s shares had dipped over 3 percent to $714.50, but Friday should provide a more accurate picture of investor sentiment on the stock.

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Companies

Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
PCLN The Priceline Group Inc. 1,481.00 8.00 0.54 43,859
SCHW Charles Schwab Corporation (The) 39.45 0.69 1.77 762,475

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