Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Priceline.com (NASDAQ:PCLN): Estimates cut below consensus at Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is out rather cautious on Priceline.com (NASDAQ:PCLN) taking their estimates way down.

Firm notes they would remain on the sidelines as global economic conditions deteriorate. The consumer spending slowdown, higher gas prices over the past year, the hassle factor for flying, airline capacity cuts, airline price increases and possible airline consolidation, and the reversal of foreign exchange benefits may weigh on results for the foreseeable future. Their updated model trims estimates to reflect these macro forces. Morgan maintains Equal-weight rating and is removing their price target given the lack of visibility.

Priceline beat expectations across the board, demonstrating its ability to take market share as the value brand in a weakening global economy. PCLN’s share of gross bookings hit 20% among the major online providers vs. 15% a year ago. Management referred to global economic conditions that deteriorated near quarter’s end, however, and international weakness that became particularly pronounced in late September and October, caused in part by FX. As such, the company warned of greater variability ahead for financial results given “the velocity of economic change.”

For 4Q08, firm's gross bookings estimate drops to $1.3 billion from $1.7 billion on the weak travel environment. Their revenue estimate drops to $375 million from $440 million million, and EPS estimate to $0.59 from $0.89.

For 2009, revenue estimate drops to $1.9 billion from $2.3 billion, and our EPS estimate to $3.88 from $4.89.

Notablecalls: Compare MSCO's estimates to consensus and you will see the firm now stands way below. I suspect PCLN will get hit today on this and the fact MSCO has removed their price tgt on the name. This means they no idea how to value the co.

1 comment:

FeirFactor said...

Barron's Trader Column wrote up Priceline over the weekend. Suggested good value in the name. Thanks for this summary. Very good.