Priceline Boosts Online Travel Biz with Buuteeq Buy - Analyst Blog

The Priceline Group Inc. ( PCLN ) 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 than domestic.

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 and Kayak. 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 quarter.

Priceline has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other better-ranked stocks that are performing well at the current levels include Universal Electronics Inc. ( UEIC ), Exar Corp. ( EXAR ) and GigOptix, Inc. ( GIG ). While Universal Electronics and Exar sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while GigaOptix carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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