Why Priceline Group Inc. Stock Dropped 14.1% in November

PCLN Chart

What: Shares of Priceline Group fell 14.1% in November, according to S&P Capital IQ data, after the online travel specialist reported weaker-than-expected guidance along with its quarterly results. Even after that drop, however, shares of Priceline are still up nearly 14% so far in 2015:

PCLN data by YCharts .

So what: Quarterly revenue climbed 9.4% year over year to $3.1 billion, including an 11.7% increase in agency revenue to $2.35 billion, a 2.8% decline in merchant revenue to just under $600 million, and a 30.3% increase in advertising and other revenue to $160.7 million. But analysts were only anticipating revenue of $3.05 billion. Gross travel bookings climbed 7% year over year, but would have risen a much more impressive 22% had it not been for the negative effects of foreign currency exchange. And again, that result came in above Priceline's guidance for total gross travel bookings in Q3 ranging from a decrease of 1% to an increase of 6% (or 13% to 20% on a constant-currency basis).

Meanwhile, that translated to 12% growth in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBTIDA) to $1.6 billion, and a 14.4% increase in adjusted net income to $25.35 per share. By contrast, analysts were only anticipating adjusted earnings of $24.23 per share.

But the market was much less enthused by Priceline's guidance for revenue in the current quarter to rise 1% to 8%, and translate to adjusted net income per share between $11.10 and $11.90. Wall Street's models anticipated fourth-quarter revenue growth of 11.2%, and earnings of $12.42 per share.

Now what: As I pointed out shortly after the report, however, note Priceline tends to under-promise and over-deliver on its own guidance. And even then, I think investors should take a lot from management's positive tone during the subsequent conference call, which lends credence to the fact that primarily apart from the temporary problem of currency headwinds and macro challenges in Europe, Priceline's underlying business is as strong as ever. And that strength will become even more evident as Price grows its supplementary revenue sources, including restaurant reservations from last year's acquisition of OpenTable, and vacation rentals from newer sites like, which enjoyed a 38% increase in properties listed on its platform over the same year-ago period. In the end, I still think investors would be wise to take advantage of this pullback to open or add to their positions in this industry juggernaut.

The next billion-dollar iSecret

The world's biggest tech company forgot to show you something at its recent event, but a few Wall Street analysts and the Fool didn't miss a beat: There's a small company that's powering their brand-new gadgets and the coming revolution in technology. And we think its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors! To be one of them, just click here .

The article Why Priceline Group Inc. Stock Dropped 14.1% in November originally appeared on

Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Priceline Group. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

Copyright © 1995 - 2015 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

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.

Other Topics


Latest Markets Videos

    The Motley Fool

    Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off.

    Learn More