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Why Priceline.com (PLCN) Changed Its Name

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Priceline.com (PCLN) announced on Tuesday that it has tweaked its name to The Priceline Group effective immediately. The company said the name change would have no effect on its ticker symbol nor its outstanding securities.

The Norwalk, Conn.-based business said it had changed its name to better represent its five primary brands - Booking.com, priceline.com, agoda.com, KAYAK and rentalcars.com.

"The corporate name change is intended to create a clear delineation between the global Priceline Group business, and The Priceline Group's North American travel brand priceline.com," the company said in a statement.

As CEO Darren Huston notes, the company is mainly comprised of five major brands which are "independently-managed and entrepreneurially-led."

"Today's name change doesn't signify any change in the strategy, or how we operate. Rather, it reflects how we have internally referred to the business for quite some time, and better aligns the name of the company with the actual structure of our business," Huston added.

By midafternoon Tuesday, Priceline shares have added 4% to $1,239.17.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates PRICELINE.COM INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate PRICELINE.COM INC (PCLN) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and expanding profit margins. Although the company may harbor some minor weaknesses, we feel they are unlikely to have a significant impact on results."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 8.8%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 29.4%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • PCLN's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.27 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with this, the company maintains a quick ratio of 5.28, which clearly demonstrates the ability to cover short-term cash needs.
  • Powered by its strong earnings growth of 26.82% and other important driving factors, this stock has surged by 70.14% over the past year, outperforming the rise in the S&P 500 Index during the same period. Regarding the stock's future course, although almost any stock can fall in a broad market decline, PCLN should continue to move higher despite the fact that it has already enjoyed a very nice gain in the past year.
  • PRICELINE.COM INC has improved earnings per share by 26.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, PRICELINE.COM INC increased its bottom line by earning $36.01 versus $27.71 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($51.52 versus $36.01).
  • The gross profit margin for PRICELINE.COM INC is currently very high, coming in at 86.10%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 24.53% significantly outperformed against the industry average.

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