5 Service Stocks for 2012
3. priceline.com (PCLN) is a leader in global online hotel reservations, with over 200,000 participating hotels worldwide. It operates under four primary brands -- Booking.com, priceline.com, Agoda.com, Travel Jigsaw -- and several ancillary brands. The company provides online travel services in more than 140 countries in Europe, North America, South America, the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.
For the third quarter of 2011, PCLN recorded revenue of $1.5 billion, a 45.0% increase over a year ago. The Group's international operations contributed $953 million, rising 79% from the year-ago period. Gross profit for the quarter stood at $1.1 billion, an increase of 65% from the prior year period, whereas operating income stood at $616.4 million, up 83% from the prior year.
For the 2011 fourth quarter, PCLN expects revenue to grow in the range of 27% to 32% and gross profit to see a 42% to 47% year-over-year increase.Of the 24 analysts covering the stock, 79% recommend a buy and 17% suggest a hold. The stock's average 12-month price target is $616.24, about 29.4% higher than the current price, a Bloomberg consensus shows.
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