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What Analysts Estimate for Priceline in 4Q17

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Revenue estimates

After Priceline (PCLN) released its 3Q17 results, analysts’ estimates for 2017 and 2018 were revised downwards. For the fourth quarter of 2017, sales are expected to grow 14.8% year-over-year or YoY to $2.7 billion.

Revenue had risen 12.6% YoY, 18.3% YoY, and 20.1% YoY in 1Q17, 2Q17, and 3Q17, respectively. This rise could lead to full-year 2017 sales growth of 16.9% YoY to $12.6 billion.

EBITDA estimates

EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) for the fourth quarter of 2017 is expected to rise 6.7% YoY to $926.7 million. EBITDA has risen -6.1% YoY, 12.3% YoY, and 15.0% YoY in 1Q17, 2Q17, and 3Q17, respectively. This rise could lead to full-year EBITDA growth of 13.9% YoY to $4.7 billion.

EBITDA growth for 2017 has come through revenue growth as EBITDA margins have fallen throughout the year. First-quarter margins fell to 26.2% from 31.3% in 1Q16. Second-quarter margins fell to 32.2% from 33.9% in 2Q16. Third-quarter margins fell to 49.3% from 51.1% in 3Q16.

For the fourth quarter, margins are expected to decline to 34.4% from 37% in 4Q16, which could lead to full-year 2017 margins of 37.6%, lower than 2016 margins of 38.5%.

Earnings estimates

Earning per share or EPS for the fourth quarter of 2017 are expected to fall slightly, by 0.1% YoY to $14.8 per share. EPS for 1Q17 grew -6.3% YoY, EPS for 2Q17 grew 8.7% YoY, and EPS for 3Q17 grew 13.0% YoY. This growth could lead to full-year EPS growth of 13.9% YoY to $4.7 billion.

Investors can gain exposure to Priceline (PCLN) by investing in the PowerShares DWA Consumer Cyclicals Momentum Portfolio ETF (PEZ). Priceline has the second-highest weight in PEZ of ~4.8%.

PEZ also invests 2.6% of its portfolio in Expedia (EXPE). However, this ETF has no exposure to online travel stocks TripAdvisor (TRIP) and Ctrip International (CTRP).

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