Trade Report: Today, The Priceline Group Inc. (PCLN) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Today, The Priceline Group Inc. (PCLN) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of The Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ:PCLN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Priceline.com is one of the leading online travel companies in the world.  The company reported strong second quarter results. Both agency and merchant businesses showed strong momentum. 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, macro headwinds, increasing advertising spend and occupancy tax-related litigation remain overhangs.”

Several other analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Vetr lowered shares of The Priceline Group from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $1,598.32 price target on the stock. in a research report on Thursday, September 29th. Cantor Fitzgerald restated a buy rating and issued a $1,560.00 price target (up from $1,453.49) on shares of The Priceline Group in a research report on Thursday, September 29th. Piper Jaffray Cos. restated a buy rating on shares of The Priceline Group in a research report on Thursday, August 25th. Jefferies Group restated a buy rating and issued a $1,700.00 price target on shares of The Priceline Group in a research report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Finally, Evercore ISI upgraded shares of The Priceline Group from a hold rating to a buy rating and raised their price target for the stock from $1,360.00 to $1,650.00 in a research report on Thursday, August 18th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-one have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The Priceline Group currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $1,525.14.

The Priceline Group (NASDAQ:PCLN) traded down 0.11% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $1496.00. 184,710 shares of the company traded hands. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $1,442.68 and its 200 day moving average price is $1,346.91. The firm has a market capitalization of $73.94 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.45 and a beta of 1.62. The Priceline Group has a 12 month low of $954.02 and a 12 month high of $1,501.79.

The Priceline Group (NASDAQ:PCLN) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $13.93 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $12.69 by $1.24. The business had revenue of $2.55 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.58 billion. The Priceline Group had a net margin of 27.08% and a return on equity of 32.93%. The Priceline Group’s revenue was up 12.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $12.45 EPS. On average, analysts expect that The Priceline Group will post $68.57 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, CEO Jeffery H. Boyd sold 2,814 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $1,467.98, for a total transaction of $4,130,895.72. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 88,939 shares in the company, valued at $130,560,673.22. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Jeffery H. Boyd sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $1,353.90, for a total transaction of $4,061,700.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 94,488 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $127,927,303.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.42% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of The Priceline Group by 65.3% in the first quarter. BlueMountain Capital Management LLC now owns 81 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 32 shares in the last quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC boosted its position in The Priceline Group by 416.7% in the second quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 93 shares of the company’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 75 shares during the period. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC boosted its position in The Priceline Group by 18.1% in the second quarter. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC now owns 98 shares of the company’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 15 shares during the period. Cupps Capital Management LLC bought a new position in The Priceline Group during the second quarter valued at $157,000. Finally, Quadrant Capital Group LLC boosted its position in The Priceline Group by 24.3% in the second quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 128 shares of the company’s stock valued at $151,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.99% of the company’s stock.

The Priceline Group Company Profile

The Priceline Group Inc is a provider of travel and restaurant 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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