Priceline Group Inc (PCLN) Given Consensus Recommendation of “Buy” by Analysts

Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) has been assigned an average rating of “Buy” from the thirty-two ratings firms that are currently covering the stock. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and twenty-four have issued a buy rating on the company. The average 1 year price target among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $1,792.79.

A number of brokerages recently weighed in on PCLN. Vetr downgraded shares of Priceline Group from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $1,674.80 price objective on the stock. in a research report on Monday, March 13th. MKM Partners reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $2,030.00 target price (up from $1,950.00) on shares of Priceline Group in a report on Tuesday, March 7th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $2,100.00 target price (up from $1,900.00) on shares of Priceline Group in a report on Tuesday, February 28th. Benchmark Co. upped their target price on shares of Priceline Group from $1,800.00 to $1,900.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 28th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies upped their target price on shares of Priceline Group from $1,700.00 to $1,800.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 28th.

Priceline Group (NASDAQ:PCLN) traded down 0.51% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $1763.60. 120,959 shares of the stock were exchanged. The stock has a market capitalization of $86.72 billion, a PE ratio of 41.35 and a beta of 1.62. The company has a 50-day moving average of $1,670.52 and a 200-day moving average of $1,535.21. Priceline Group has a 52 week low of $1,148.06 and a 52 week high of $1,776.69.

Priceline Group (NASDAQ:PCLN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, February 27th. The company reported $14.21 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $13.09 by $1.12. The company had revenue of $2.35 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.32 billion. Priceline Group had a net margin of 18.91% and a return on equity of 34.70%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 17.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $10.73 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Priceline Group will post $74.35 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Glenn D. Fogel sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $1,488.76, for a total transaction of $1,488,760.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 21,891 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $32,590,445.16. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Daniel J. Finnegan sold 3,052 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $1,730.38, for a total transaction of $5,281,119.76. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 20,779 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $35,955,566.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 7,183 shares of company stock valued at $11,403,654 over the last ninety days. 0.42% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of PCLN. Sunbelt Securities Inc. bought a new position in Priceline Group during the fourth quarter valued at $106,000. First Bank & Trust acquired a new position in Priceline Group during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $108,000. Tiedemann Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in Priceline Group during the third quarter valued at approximately $136,000. Sowell Financial Services LLC acquired a new position in Priceline Group during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $153,000. Finally, First Manhattan Co. raised its position in Priceline Group by 233.3% in the third quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 100 shares of the company’s stock valued at $147,000 after buying an additional 70 shares during the period. 95.28% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Priceline Group

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.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:PCLN

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