The Priceline Group Inc.
) announced the acquisition of a hotel marketing start-up company
Buuteeq. The terms of the deal have been kept under wraps.
Based in Seattle, Buuteeq is a cloud-based digital marketing
platform that helps hotels create and manage their mobile and
social channels while driving bookings through designed websites,
robust user analytics and intuitive content-management tools. The
company charges a monthly fee for its services.
We believe the deal will increase Priceline's market share in
the competitive online travel market. In the last-reported quarter
(first-quarter 2014), Priceline's overall bookings were up 34.4%
sequentially and 34.2% year over year. Both international and
domestic bookings grew in strong double digits from both the
previous and year-ago quarters with international growing stronger
The deal will help Priceline to further improve its hotel
bookings by allowing hoteliers to improve their web services to
attract more visitors. Further, the acquisition will strengthen the
company's talent base with the addition of an experienced
engineering team to its online travel business.
Upon the completion of the deal, Buuteeq will continue to
operate independently as a Priceline Group company. It will join
other Priceline units such as Booking.com and Kayak.
Priceline.com is one of the leading online travel companies in
the world offering people the option to shop for travel. We believe
that Priceline will continue to invest in the business, especially
its international expansion strategy. The company has entered into
strategic alliances and acquiring companies that will ensure growth
in the future.
In the last-concluded quarter, the company reported robust
results, with both revenues and earnings beating our estimates and
growing strongly from the year-ago quarter. Revenues of $1.64
billion were up 6.5% sequentially and 26.1% year over year. Kayak
remained a major contributor to the revenue growth last
Priceline has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other better-ranked stocks
that are performing well at the current levels include
Universal Electronics Inc.
). While Universal Electronics and Exar sport a Zacks Rank #1
(Strong Buy), while GigaOptix carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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