Why Travel Stocks Are Taking a Beating

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Travel stocks were getting beaten up on Tuesday after a couple major players in the industry reported less than favorable quarterly results. Two of the notable names seeing declines in Tuesday’s session were Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ: PCLN) and TripAdvisor Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP).

First looking at Priceline: the company said that it had $35.22 in earnings per share (EPS) and $4.43 billion in revenue. This compares to a consensus forecast from Thomson Reuters of $34.25 in EPS on revenue of $4.34 billion. In the same period of last year, the company said it had EPS of $29.69 and $3.69 billion in revenue.

At first glance these quarterly results aren’t bad at all, but the real weakness in this report came from the outlook for the fourth quarter. The company expects to see total gross bookings increasing in the range of 9.5% to 14.5%, year over year, or 5.5% to 10.5% in constant currency. At the same time, EPS in the fourth quarter are expected to be in the range of $13.40 to $14.00.

The consensus estimates call for $15.57 in EPS and $2.73 billion in revenue, for the fourth quarter.

TripAdvisor saw mixed results this past quarter, which did not help shares in Tuesday’s session. The $0.36 in EPS on $439 million in revenue posted compares to consensus estimates of $0.35 and $451.84 million, respectively. The third quarter of last year reportedly had EPS of $0.53 and $421 million in revenue.

The company’s chief financial officer, Ernst Teunissen, commented:

Re-igniting near-term Hotel growth has been more difficult than expected, though continued momentum in Non-Hotels, and most notably, our Attractions business, as well as prudent expense management, have mitigated adjusted EBITDA impacts this year, despite a significant investment in television advertising. We will continue to strike an appropriate balance between near-term growth and profitability as we continue to work towards longterm profitable growth.

Shares of TripAdvisor were recently trading down about 18% at $32.52. The stock has a 52-week trading range of $31.75 to $65.56 and a consensus analyst price target of $39.26.

Priceline shares were last seen down about 10% at $1,705.17, with a consensus price target of $2,106.55 and a 52-week range of $1,459.49 to $2,067.99.

Feeling some sympathy pains for the group, Expedia Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) dropped as well, but not as significantly. Its shares were last seen down about 2% at $120.33, in a 52-week range of $111.88 to $161.00 and with a consensus price target of $154.97.