Shares of Priceline Group Inc. rose 2% on Thursday after they were upgraded to overweight from equal-weight and their price target lifted to $1,525 from $1,330 at Morgan Stanley. The upgrade stemmed from expectations that the company is winning the travel booking market over competitors, due to its selection of vacation rentals and other "alternative accommodations." Startups such as Airbnb have made non-hotel accommodations more attractive in recent years, which prompted Priceline last summer to push more heavily into vacation rentals. Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak expects Priceline's adjusted EBITDA to rise in 2016 for the first time in five years. Shares of Priceline traded around $1,266 on Thursday morning. They are down roughly 3.9% over the last three months, underperforming the 0.5% increase for the S&P 500.
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