Priceline Reports Strong End-of-Year Earnings

For the fourth quarter of 2014, Priceline Group reported gross profit of $1.7 billion, a year-over year increase of 26 percent. Fourth-quarter bookings—the total value of all travel services purchased by Priceline customers—increased 17 percent from the prior year to $10.7 billion. Bookings for the full year rose 28 percent to $50.3 billion. The online travel agency’s primary brands include Booking.com, priceline.com, KAYAK, agoda.com, rentalcars.com, and OpenTable. Priceline has been acquiring companies and forging new partnerships to differentiate itself from competitors as the online travel booking industry consolidates, according to Bloomberg Business. One of its major rivals, Expedia, agreed last week to acquire Orbitz Worldwide for $1.6 billion. Once the transaction is completed, this would bump Priceline out of the top spot in total bookings worldwide, the article states. But Priceline CEO Darren Huston told Bloomberg he’s not concerned about the deal because the company is focusing on acquisitions to add geographic breadth and new business lines. The Wall Street Journal just reported that Priceline has plans to buy hotel-booking startup Rocketmiles for approximately $20 million, but Huston declined to comment.

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