What’s going on with the stock of Priceline Group?
Shares got hammered after the online travel firm released its latest quarterly numbers. Even though revenues and profits came in much better than analyst estimates, the company gave a disappointing outlook for the rest of the year saying, “growth rates will decelerate.” Investors bailed out of the stock with Priceline tumbling nearly 7% to $1,867. Until now, Priceline had been trading at record levels, above $2,000 a share, for a yearly gain of nearly 40%.
Speaking with analysts after the earnings announcement, Priceline’s new CEO Glenn Fogel responded to concerns about the company’s forecast, saying, “The deceleration in the growth rate is consistent with our long-term trends and expectation for the business given our size now. And I’d like to say that the factors that have propelled us to where we are now are still intact.”
Ahead of that news, Fogel talked with Susie Gharib at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference and described those factors that have been driving growth at Priceline. “Over time we’ve been able to bring together things in technology that have helped make travel easier for people. And that’s what people want. They want to do their travel really in a way that’s seamless, easy, and it’s the right trip at the right time and at the right price.”
Priceline has come a long way since the 1990s with William Shatner as the company’s spokesman and asking customers to “name their own price.” Priceline has been getting bigger and bigger. Today it is ranked at 268 on the Fortune 500’s list of America’s biggest companies. It has revenues of $10 billion and operations in 225 countries. In addition to Priceline’s namesake platform, the company owns other major brands like Kayak.com, Booking.com, OpenTable, Rentalcars.com, Asia’s Agoda, and Cheapflights.
When it comes to concerns about President Trump’s travel ban, Fogel is confident that Priceline can keep up the momentum. “There’s always going to be ups and downs. Something’s always going to be happening somewhere around the world,” he says. “So while something may be happening in one country or territory, people will travel to a different area.”