CEO Dumps 20% of Booking Shares

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Investors can learn much by paying attention to the behavior of corporate insiders as they handle positions in their own companies. People may sell shares for various reasons (such as buying a house, paying for college, or getting ready for retirement). They generally buy for only one reason: they expect to make more money.

Often, one of the largest and best-informed shareholders in any company is the chief executive officer. Let’s see whether Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG) CEO Glenn Fogel has been increasing or decreasing his shares over the past year and whether he knows something we don’t.

What You Need to Know About Booking

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Reservations and travel services

Booking provides travel and restaurant online reservations and related services worldwide. The company operates the following:

  • offers online accommodation reservations.
  • provides online rental car reservation services.
  • Priceline offers online travel reservation services, and consumers hotel, flight, and rental car reservation services, as well as vacation packages, cruises, and hotel distribution services.
  • Agoda provides online accommodation reservation services, as well as flight, ground transportation, and activities reservation services.
  • Kayak is an online meta-search service that allows consumers to search and compare travel itineraries and prices, comprising airline ticket, accommodation reservation, and rental car reservation information.
  • OpenTable provides booking online restaurant reservations.

The company also offers travel-related insurance products; restaurant management services to consumers, travel service providers, and restaurants; and advertising services. It was formerly known as Priceline Group and changed its name in February 2018. (These are the 18 worst tourist traps in America.)

The company was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut. That is also the home of Dooney & Bourke, Pepperidge Farm and Xerox Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ: XRX). Competitors of Booking include Expedia Group Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) and Tripadvisor Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP). Fogel has been president and CEO of Booking since 2017.

The company posted over $20.6 billion in revenue and has a market capitalization near $130.0 billion. The stock is up about 51% from a year ago and recently hit a multiyear high of $3,844.76 per share. The S&P 500 is 23% or so higher in the past year. Booking shares are up less than 5% year to date.

How the CEO of Booking Is Trading

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Buying or selling?

One year ago, Fogel owned more than 47,300 shares, worth over $77.8 million. On last look, he owned less than 38,500 shares, a decline of about 8,900 shares. However, the value of the stake rose by around 56.5% to almost $121.8 million as the share price increased.

Shares a Year Ago Shares Today % Change
47,365 38,449 −18.82%

Who wouldn’t want to chop their stake and still see its value soar? Yet, there’s also the money left on the table by not holding on to the shares for a little longer. CEO Glenn Fogel could have sold shares for a variety of reasons, and we may never know the truth. The next quarterly report is due out soon, so any moves that insiders make afterward may be worth watching for further clues about what they know and we don’t.

Another internal shareholder to watch is General Counsel Peter Millones. His stake was worth over $48.9 million on last look. Chief Financial Officer David Goulden has a stake worth around $35.6 million. Note that Goulden and Fogel have both sold shares since the beginning of this year.


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