Analysts are Praising Priceline’s Big Q2 Results

priceline-pcln-logoOnline travel agency Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) shares are surging today, following its solid Q2 report, and Wall Street analysts are stepping up to heap praise upon the company.

Benchmark Capital Boosts Price Target by
Benchmark lifted its price target on PCLN from $1,440 to $1,600 following the report. That new target suggests an 11% upside to the stock’s current trading price around $1,427. The firm lauded Priceline’s 1% beat on room-night (RN) growth and $60 million in EBITDA upside. Benchmark also notes the company’s Q3 guidance was solid, with all major metrics falling within the upper range of Wall Street consensus forecasts. Most importantly, the analyst loved management’s view that geopolitical concerns wouldn’t materially impact the company’s business, unlike competitor Expedia, which is more cautious on terrorist concerns.

Stifel Research Bullish Commentary
Stifel liked highlighted Priceline’s 24% YoY room night growth, 21% YoY currency-adjusted bookings growth, and adjusted gross profit margins of 36%. Alternative accommodations now account for ~31% of total available rooms on the platform, which continues to drive growth. Stifel was also relieved to hear management downplay macroeconomic concerns, unlike Expedia and TripAdvisor. The firm kept its Hold rating unchanged, due to competition, ROI headwinds, and a moderating environment, but noted the company is the clear leader over its peers in the space.

Bullish analyst commentary following a good earnings report usually helps add fuel to the fire, and can continue to push a stock higher over the next several weeks. Expect to see more analysts in coming days pile into the lovefest for PCLN, which tends to happen each time a big-name stock posts good results.

Priceline shares rose $67.43 (+4.96%) to $1,427.42 in Friday afternoon trading. PCLN has now gained almost 12% year-to-date, nearly doubling the performance of the benchmark S&P 500 in the same period.

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