Online Travel: Priceline Is Down; TripAdvisor Is Up – Barron’s

Priceline (PCLN) is one of the biggest losers in the S&P 500 today, falling more than 7.7% after the online travel giant unveiled a tough outlook for the current quarter.

Rival TripAdvisor (TRIP), meanwhile, is faring better. After falling earlier today, the shares have reversed course and are up more than 3% to $40.75.

Analysts are equally at odds over the two stocks.

The online travel landscape is dominated by these two companies. Yet emerging players, such as Google Flights and room-sharing services like Airbnb are fueling worries about competition and market saturation.

At Priceline, second quarter bookings unveiled as part of the company’s earnings report fell short of expectations. That and the weak guidance overshadowed estimate-beating per-share earnings.

Trip Advisor also delivered better-than-expected per-share earnings for the second quarter, which were overshadowed by a slow recovery in hotel monetization.

Yesterday, Susquehanna’s Shyam Patil and his team expressed a preference for Priceline over TripAdvisor. Today, Stifel analyst Scott Devitt did the same. In separate notes, he reiterated a Hold rating on TripAdvisor and called Buy-rated Priceline “a market leader.”

Barclays analyst Ross Sandler argues that Priceline’s stock price is “due for a breather” after the big return it delivered since the start of the year. Still, he lifted his price target from $2,050 a share to $2,100 a share, and recommends that investors “add to positions selectively on weakness.”

Yet like many analysts, Justin Patterson and Aaron Kessler at Raymond James remain sidelined on TripAdvisor, warning that the shares should remain “range bound until monetization inflects higher.”

Online Travel: Priceline Is Down; TripAdvisor Is Up – Barron’s

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