Zacks Industry Outlook Highlights: Priceline, Expedia, Orbitz Worldwide, Ctrip International and TripAdvisor

Zacks

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – July 12, 2013 – Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses the U.S. e-Commerce (part two), including Priceline (PCLN-Free Report), Expedia (EXPE-Free Report), Orbitz Worldwide (OWW-Free Report), Ctrip International (CTRP-Free Report) and TripAdvisor (TRIP-Free Report).

Industry: e-Commerce (part two)

Link http://www.zacks.com/commentary/28094/e-commerce-stock-update-july-2013-pt-2

Although retail e-Commerce is the segment that most of us are interested in, it is in fact just a part of the overall e-Commerce market. In fact, retailers and service providers generate just 4.7% and 3.0%, respectively of their revenues online, a slightly higher percentage than they did in the prior year. The U.S. Census Bureau categorizes these two segments as business-to-consumer.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the manufacturing sector is the largest contributor to e-commerce sales (49.3% of their total shipments), followed by merchant wholesalers (24.3% of their total sales). These two segments make up the business-to-business category.

This places the business-to-business category at 90% of total e-Commerce sales, with the balance coming from the business-to-consumer category. The latest numbers from the Bureau suggest that the fastest-growing segments were retail and wholesale. [All the above data from the U.S. Census Bureau relate to 2011, as published in May 2013]

The industry is evolving very rapidly, so data collection and evaluation are particularly difficult. Consequently, one has to rely largely on surveys by both government and private agencies.

In this section, we will discuss segments of the e-Commerce market than do not relate directly to the retail of goods, and discuss instead travel, payments, security and advertising.

Travel

The U.S. Commerce Department expects international travel to the U.S. to continue increasing over the next few years. Visitor volume is currently expected to increase 6-8% a year from 2012 to 2016 leading to a 49% increase in the number of users during the period.

Visitors from the Middle East are expected to be the slowest-growing (29%). South America, Asia and Oceania growth rates are expected to be comparable at 83%, 82% and 82%, respectively.

The fastest growth is expected to come from China (232%), South Korea (200%), Brazil (150%), Russian Federation (139%) and India (94%). Travel and tourism is one of the country’s strongest industries, contributing a trade surplus in each of the last 20 years.

The top travel booking sites are Booking.com, Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Priceline.com, Kayak.com (acquired by Priceline), Travelocity.com, Orbitz.com and Hotwire.com. Since Booking.com and Kayak are part of Priceline (PCLN-Free Report) and both Hotels.com and Hotwire.com part of Expedia (EXPE-Free Report), this narrows down the top companies in the segment to Priceline, Expedia, Orbitz Worldwide (OWW-Free Report) and Travelocity. However, there are several others worth considering that include Ctrip International (CTRP-Free Report) and TripAdvisor (TRIP-Free Report), which was spun off from Expedia.

The global travel market grew 4% in 2012 and is expected to grow another 2-3% this year. The Asia/Pacific region is expected to see the strongest growth (up 6%), followed by Europe and South America (mainly Brazil) at 2% each. North America (mainly U.S.) is expected to be flat this year. [World Travel Monitor 2012]

According to the April 2013 TravelClick North American Hospitality Review (:NAHR), both occupancy and average daily rates (ADRs) in North America are seeing steady growth this year, with individual bookings (both leisure and business) doing better than group bookings. In the second quarter of 2013, total travel occupancy growth was 3.6% from last year with ADR growth even better at 3.8%.

Online travel agents (OTAs) are growing the fastest this year – up 13.7% in the first quarter, according to the TravelClick North American Distribution Review (:NADR). The hotels’ own websites were up 5.0%, with direct walk-ins and calls to the hotel growing 3.7%. The areas of weakness were the global distribution system used by travel agents and CRS (calls to a hotel's toll-free number).

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