Can Priceline Fly Higher in 2013?


As 2013 begins, now's a good time to look at the future prospects for the stocks you own. If you don't know where a company's headed in the next year and beyond, then it's impossible to make an informed decision about whether you should add the stock to your portfolio -- or sell it if you already own it.

Today, I'll look at (NAS: PCLN) . The online travel portal kept soaring in 2012, as the company not only managed to keep revenue and profit growth high but also made a big acquisition to try to cement its leadership role in the industry for the future. Below, you'll learn more about's prospects for 2013.

Stats on

Average Stock Target Price


Full-Year 2012 EPS Estimate


Full-Year 2013 EPS Estimate


Full-Year 2012 Sales Growth Estimate


Full-Year 2013 Sales Growth Estimate


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Source: Yahoo Finance.

Will give investors the right price in 2013?
Analysts continue to be optimistic about Priceline's prospects for the future. Their current target price stands about 15% above where the stock trades now, and with earnings and revenue both set to grow at roughly a 20% clip, the expected share-price gain seems eminently reasonable.

Even after its huge share-price increase, Priceline still has a lot going for it. As much as U.S. investors look at the company's domestic presence, the big growth potential lies in international markets. In particular, Chinese tourists are hungry to see the world, and although (NAS: CTRP) has home-field advantage in serving them, Priceline has positioned itself to capture its share of that lucrative market by entering into a partnership with Ctrip to share access to its portfolio of 235,000 hotels worldwide.

Still, Priceline won't have the industry's profit potential all to itself. Expedia (NAS: EXPE) has made a huge comeback in recent months, with its spinoff of TripAdvisor (NAS: TRIP) leaving the travel portal with a renewed focus on standing up to Priceline and growing its business.

The wild card in the industry is whether Google (NAS: GOOG) will step up to enter the travel field in more dramatic fashion. Yet given the head start that Priceline has built, it's far from a sure thing that Big G would be able to make as big a dent in the online travel portal business as many analysts think.

If the world economy rebounds more strongly, then Priceline is in a perfect position to take advantage. After a nice correction, shares may be as attractively valued right now as you're likely to see.

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The article Can Priceline Fly Higher in 2013? originally appeared on

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends International, Google,, and TripAdvisor. The Motley Fool owns shares of International, Google,, and TripAdvisor. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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