UPDATE: Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ:PCLN) recorded a third-quarter beat on the top and bottom lines after Monday’s bell, and PCLN stock is up strongly in response. Priceline shares already headed 5% higher during regular trading, extending the stock’s run to 16% for the year-to-date.
Here’s a look at Priceline’s earnings for the third quarter, and where shares are headed as a result.
Priceline Earnings Outlook
Priceline earned $31.18 per share on an adjusted basis, up 23% year-over-year and better than analysts’ expectations for $29.32 per share. Wall Street expects that to feed into full-year earnings growth of 16% to $67.92 per share. Over the past 30 days, three analysts had revised their quarterly profit estimates higher, and one analyst guided lower.
All told, though, analysts toned down their views on PCLN, and guessed wrong — 90 days ago, they expected earnings of $29.73 per share.
Priceline has now topped earnings estimates for double-digit consecutive quarters.
Revenues grew 19% year-over-year to $3.69 billion, topping expectations for 16.6% growth to $3.62 billion.
Moreover, Priceline guided fourth-quarter earnings between $12.20 and $12.80 per share, which would represent 14% to 19% growth. The company expects room nights book to increase between 20% and 25%, and total gross travel bookings to improve 16% to 21%.
Competitor Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE) reported Q3 earnings in late October, and fell on a disappointing bottom line.
PCLN Stock: Quick Technical Outlook
Monday’s market-driven bounce in Priceline stock hurdled shares back over the 50-day moving average, which PCLN collapsed under last week. It was Priceline’s third attack on the average since making a move to cross back above it in July. Shares were trading level with prices held throughout most of October before Monday night’s report.
With Monday night’s bounce, PCLN has vaulted to about $1,550 — well above previous highs at $1,501.
If Monday’s after-market gains in PCLN stock don’t hold, there’s price support below at the $1,425 level, which is more than 3% below current levels, and another bit of price resistance that was tested several times in August and September, at $1,400. If you’re looking at a poor-case scenario, the 20-day moving average is in the $1,330 range — about 10% lower.
As of this writing, Robert Martin did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.