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An Investor’s Overview of Priceline Group


Nov. 9 2015, Updated 12:09 p.m. ET

About the business

Priceline Group (PCLN) is one of the world’s leading providers of online travel reservations and search services. The global group provides a wide array of services via its major brands: Booking.com, Priceline.com, Kayak, OpenTable, Rentalcars.com, and Agoda.com. PCLN operates in more than 200 countries in North America, South America, Europe, the Asia–Pacific region, the Middle East, and Africa.

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Service portfolio

Priceline Group (PCLN) provides users with discount rates for travel-related services such as airline tickets and hotel stays. The portfolio of services provided by Priceline Group consists of a broad range of travel products and services such as hotel bookings, airline tickets, car rentals, cruises, and vacation packages. The company operates several online portals that connect travelers with suppliers around the world, namely Priceline.com, Booking.com, Agoda.com, and Rentalcars.com.

Priceline Group also entered the metasearch space with its acquisition of Kayak, a leading travel search service. According to its 2Q15 reports, Priceline’s Booking.com platform features a robust network of 707,000 hotels and other accommodations in 220 countries and territories.

OTA industry

The US online travel market is the largest market in terms of online sales. The online travel agency (or OTA) industry is largely controlled by the two leaders—Expedia and Priceline Group—followed by TripAdvisor and other growing firms. Expedia and Priceline have been fierce competitors in terms of market share, and they are gulping down smaller competitive firms in order to grow their portfolio and networks. However, if Expedia’s recent bid to acquire Orbitz Worldwide, the third largest OTA player in the US, gets through, it could advance Expedia on the OTA leaderboard.

Priceline (PCLN) competes with major online travel companies like Expedia (EXPE), Ctrip (CTRP), Travelzoo (TZOO), MakeMyTrip (MMYT), and TripAdvisor (TRIP). Priceline accounts for 3% of the Top Guru Holdings Index ETF (GURU).

In the next post, we’ll look at Priceline’s business model.


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