Argus Lowers The Priceline Group (PCLN) to Hold

Argus downgraded shares of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ:PCLN) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Friday morning, MarketBeat.com reports. Argus currently has $1,739.71 price objective on the business services provider’s stock, up from their previous price objective of $1,459.49. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

A number of other brokerages have also recently weighed in on PCLN. Barclays reiterated an overweight rating on shares of The Priceline Group in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Deutsche Bank reiterated a hold rating and issued a $2,075.00 target price (up previously from $1,950.00) on shares of The Priceline Group in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Wells Fargo & Company reiterated a hold rating and issued a $1,850.00 target price on shares of The Priceline Group in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Macquarie lifted their target price on The Priceline Group from $2,000.00 to $2,200.00 and gave the company a positive rating in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reiterated an outperform rating and issued a $2,070.00 target price (down previously from $2,150.00) on shares of The Priceline Group in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, twenty-four have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $2,011.16.

The Priceline Group (NASDAQ:PCLN) traded down $4.41 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $1,735.30. The stock had a trading volume of 397,700 shares, compared to its average volume of 458,800. The Priceline Group has a 1-year low of $1,459.49 and a 1-year high of $2,067.99. The company has a quick ratio of 2.52, a current ratio of 2.52 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.68. The firm has a market capitalization of $84,629.78, a PE ratio of 23.31, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.37 and a beta of 1.40.

The Priceline Group (NASDAQ:PCLN) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 6th. The business services provider reported $35.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $34.31 by $0.91. The Priceline Group had a return on equity of 33.02% and a net margin of 29.20%. The business had revenue of $4.43 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.34 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $29.69 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 20.1% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts forecast that The Priceline Group will post 74.42 EPS for the current year.

In other news, CEO Gillian Tans sold 123 shares of The Priceline Group stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $1,715.78, for a total transaction of $211,040.94. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Jan L. Docter sold 1,200 shares of The Priceline Group stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $1,764.52, for a total value of $2,117,424.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 142 shares in the company, valued at $250,561.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 1,567 shares of company stock worth $2,790,353 over the last three months. 0.24% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in PCLN. Dynamic Advisors Solutions LLC increased its position in shares of The Priceline Group by 3.7% during the second quarter. Dynamic Advisors Solutions LLC now owns 389 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $728,000 after acquiring an additional 14 shares during the last quarter. Hartwell J M Limited Partnership increased its position in shares of The Priceline Group by 1.2% during the second quarter. Hartwell J M Limited Partnership now owns 21,821 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $40,817,000 after acquiring an additional 250 shares during the last quarter. Addison Capital Co increased its position in shares of The Priceline Group by 5.1% during the second quarter. Addison Capital Co now owns 290 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $542,000 after acquiring an additional 14 shares during the last quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. grew its stake in The Priceline Group by 3.3% in the second quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. now owns 1,204 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $2,252,000 after purchasing an additional 38 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pennsylvania Trust Co grew its stake in The Priceline Group by 542.7% in the second quarter. Pennsylvania Trust Co now owns 3,490 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $6,528,000 after purchasing an additional 2,947 shares in the last quarter. 94.68% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About The Priceline Group

The Priceline Group Inc is a provider of travel and restaurant online 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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