This year’s summer travel season was white hot for Priceline.com.
Shares of the online travel-booking site sizzled after reporting a 32 percent jump in second-quarter profits, driven in large part by growth in its international bookings.
So, is Priceline the best deal for your portfolio?
“Based on the charts we think this is a very good deal. [Priceline] is one of our top picks in the Consumer Discretionary sector,” said Oppenheimer’s Ari Wald. “This is a stock you want to stick with.”
According to Wald, Priceline’s charts are setting up for a move up to 10 percent higher than current levels. However, it could pull back slightly before a breakout. “The stock has run up a little bit and may be due for some consolidation, and historical precedence would agree with that.” Wald pointed out that the stock spent eight months below its peak in 2011, and 13 months below its peak in 2012. “Currently we are five months below its prior peak. That would suggest we don’t get the breakout until the fourth quarter. If we get a pullback, you want to buy it. I’m looking at $1,270 as support.”
Erin Gibbs of S&P Capital IQ agreed Priceline is a strong buy, pointing out the company’s latest acquisition of both OpenTable and China’s Ctrip.
“Priceline’s recent investments are really setting it up to take advantage of what I see as this long-term secular trend of price-conscious consumers,” she said. “Their acquisition of OpenTable can open up their hotel model. As well as their $500 million dollar investment into Ctrip, which is China’s largest online travel site, helps them on the international side which has been a driver of growth.”
Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. has an "outperform' rating and $1,320.70 target on The Priceline Group Inc. (PCLN)
Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. makes a market in the securities of PCLN.
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