Reaction to earnings, hotel business driving market enthusiasm
Priceline.com Inc. surged closer to the $1,000-a-share milestone Friday, as investors reacted positively to a quarterly report that continued to support the firm’s status as the kingpin of the online-travel agency market.
The company reported a profit of $437 million, or $8.39 a share, on $1.68 billion in revenue. During the same period a year ago, Priceline reported a profit of $352 million, or $6.88 a share, on sales of $1.33 billion.
“The main driver [of growth] has been international,” said Aaron Kessler, of Raymond James. “International is now about 90% of profits, and they have become the leading international online travel agency.”
Priceline’s Booking.com business, which lists more than 335,000 hotels around the world, that is the key source of the company’s performance and why the Priceline’s stock price has risen almost 59% this year, and is up 75% over the past year.