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Declining US bookings weigh on Priceline and a dismal outlook overshadows very strong quarter


NORWALK, Connecticut — Shares of Priceline tumbled 7 percent after a disappointing fourth-quarter outlook from the online booking service.

While total gross travel bookings should increase between 1 percent and 8 percent in the final quarter of the year, Priceline expects U.S. gross bookings to fall between 5 percent and 10 percent. The company said that the strong dollar is weighing on growth.

Its forecast for per-share earnings of between $11.10 and $11.90 Monday were well below Wall Street expectations of $12.53, according to a poll by Zacks Investment Research.

For the third quarter, Priceline's earnings grew 13 percent to $1.2 billion despite a 12 percent increase in operating expenses. Earnings, adjusted for stock option expenses and amortization costs, totaled $25.35 per share. That beat analyst expectations for $24.34 per share.

The Norwalk, Connecticut, company posted revenue of $3.1 billion in the period, which also beat the average consensus forecast of $3.07 billion.

Yet the fourth-quarter outlook overshadowed the strong quarter and shares slumped $105.86 to $1,344.04. Shares are still up 18 percent for the year.


Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on PCLN at http://www.zacks.com/ap/PCLN


Keywords: Priceline, Earnings Report

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