One Reason Priceline Group (PCLN) Stock Is Down in Pre-Market Trading Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Priceline Group Inc. (PCLN) are lower by 1.06% to $1,141 in pre-market trading on Tuesday, following a ratings downgrade to "market perform" from "outperform" at FBR Capital Markets.

The firm said it reduced its rating on the online travel company as the company's guidance suggests that its growth is decelerating.

FBR Capital Markets has a $1,225 price target on Priceline stock.STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

Additionally, the CEO of Priceline, Darren Huston said he would consider further takeovers after the company made the biggest deal in its history with the $2.6 billion acquisition of Open Table, a restaurant reservation website, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Priceline has been growing over the past decade with the purchases of travel websites such as Kayak.com and booking.com. But the CEO warned that Priceline will not become a "serial acquirer," the Journal added.

"We have six brands at the table," Huston told the Journal. "We can't have 15."

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

"We rate PRICELINE GROUP 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, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

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

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 13.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 25.0%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
  • PRICELINE GROUP INC has improved earnings per share by 27.4% 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 GROUP 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 ($52.57 versus $36.01).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has significantly exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Internet & Catalog Retail industry. The net income increased by 27.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, rising from $832.99 million to $1,062.25 million.
  • The gross profit margin for PRICELINE GROUP INC is currently very high, coming in at 92.37%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 37.44% significantly outperformed against the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,292.13 million or 33.14% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, PRICELINE GROUP INC has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 24.62%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: PCLN Ratings Report

STOCKS TO BUY: TheStreet Quant Ratings has identified a handful of stocks that can potentially TRIPLE in the next 12 months. Learn more.

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