Way to go, Priceline.com
One can bellyache over the 10 items that are tweaked to arrive at the company's adjusted profitability, but they're ultimately non-cash items related to stock-based compensation, past acquisitions, and tax items. Besides, analysts are serving up their estimates on that basis, and they clearly blew it this time.
Wall Street is used to arriving at the wrong gate. Priceline has now blown past profit targets in 17 of the last 19 quarters. That compares favorably to rival Expedia
Priceline definitely stands out in a tricky sector. Orbitz
The strong results came despite an airfare sale, during which the site gave users a price break on processing fees. That's an important sale, because savvy portal-watchers can use sites like Expedia and Travelocity to find the lowest fare, then go book directly with carriers like AMR
Priceline is doing it right, even though a lot of its heady growth wouldn't have materialized if it wasn't for the company's acquisition of Europe's Booking.com.
The outlook is rosy. Priceline expects to earn between $3.50 a share to $3.65 a share this year on an adjusted basis. The healthy bottom-line guidance is well ahead of the $3.12 per share that the market is expecting.
In other words, Wall Street is hanging out at the wrong gate again, and Priceline shareholders couldn't be happier.
Here's your ticket to related Foolishness:
- Name Your Own Priceline
- Priceline Expecting Domestic Delays: Fool by Numbers
- Expedia Thinks Outside the Box
Priceline.com is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. You can take off with a free 30-day trial subscription.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz still relies on the portals to get basic travel information, but then he runs off to see if better deals can be had directly with the provider. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool's disclosure policy would rather take a shuttlecraft.