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Priceline's Stock Pummeled, May See Worst Drop Since 2012

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Priceline Group Inc.'s stock tumbled 12% Wednesday before rebounding a bit, after the online travel services company reported first-quarter results that beat expectations, but provided a second-quarter profit outlook that was well below analyst projections.  

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For the latest quarter, earnings rose to $374.4 million, or $7.47 a share, from $333.3 million, or $6.36 a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to $10.54, above the FactSet consensus of $9.64. Revenue grew to $2.15 billion from $1.84 billion, beating the FactSet consensus of $2.12 billion, as better-than-expected agency and advertising and other revenue offset a miss in merchant revenue. Bookings increased 21% to $16.7 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $16.3 billion. For the second quarter, the company expects EPS of $11.60 to $12.50, well below the FactSet consensus of $14.96. "The group is looking forward to continued investments in product, service and branding that will drive long-term growth for our leading brands," Interim Chief Executive Jeffery Boyd said. The stock has climbed 6.3% year to date through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 1%.

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