Investors Buy Shares of The Priceline Group Inc. (PCLN) on Weakness

Traders purchased shares of The Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ:PCLN) on weakness during trading on Friday. $287.37 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $109.53 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $177.84 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, The Priceline Group had the 20th highest net in-flow for the day. The Priceline Group traded down ($2.09) for the day and closed at $1,843.20

Several equities analysts have weighed in on the company. UBS AG restated an “overweight” rating on shares of The Priceline Group in a report on Thursday, August 24th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. assumed coverage on The Priceline Group in a report on Tuesday, August 15th. They set a “buy” rating and a $2,200.00 price target for the company. MKM Partners restated a “buy” rating and set a $2,225.00 price target (up previously from $2,050.00) on shares of The Priceline Group in a report on Monday, August 14th. Susquehanna Bancshares Inc restated a “positive” rating and set a $2,200.00 price target (up previously from $2,150.00) on shares of The Priceline Group in a report on Thursday, August 10th. Finally, Raymond James Financial, Inc. restated a “buy” rating on shares of The Priceline Group in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating, twenty-seven have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The Priceline Group presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $1,924.32.

The stock has a market capitalization of $90.43 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 39.15 and a beta of 1.47. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $1,882.74 and its 200 day moving average price is $1,847.92.

The Priceline Group (NASDAQ:PCLN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 8th. The business services provider reported $15.14 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $14.25 by $0.89. The Priceline Group had a return on equity of 33.10% and a net margin of 20.51%. The business had revenue of $3.02 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.99 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $13.93 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 18.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts predict that The Priceline Group Inc. will post $74.70 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, CEO Gillian Tans sold 122 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, July 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $1,949.47, for a total value of $237,835.34. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 5,922 shares in the company, valued at $11,544,761.34. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Director Jan L. Docter sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $1,875.90, for a total value of $4,689,750.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 320 shares in the company, valued at $600,288. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 2,745 shares of company stock worth $5,158,872. Insiders own 0.42% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in PCLN. Intl Fcstone Inc. acquired a new stake in The Priceline Group in the second quarter valued at $664,000. Gs Investments Inc. acquired a new stake in The Priceline Group in the second quarter valued at $2,031,000. Sentry Investment Management LLC raised its stake in The Priceline Group by 1.0% in the second quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 3,957 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $7,402,000 after buying an additional 38 shares in the last quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank raised its stake in The Priceline Group by 17.2% in the second quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 16,862 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $31,535,000 after buying an additional 2,479 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mountain Capital Investment Advisors Inc acquired a new stake in The Priceline Group in the second quarter valued at $133,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 94.53% of the company’s stock.

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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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