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Stifel Nicolaus Upgrades Priceline To Buy, Says Stock Is Going To $1,900

Thursday, November 10, 2016 9:33
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Online travel giant Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PCLN) received some very bullish notes from analysts at Stifel Nicolaus this morning.

The firm upgraded PCLN from Hold to Buy and lifted its price target from $1,650 to $1,900. That new target suggests a massive 21% upside to the stock’s Wednesday closing price of $1,570.26.

Stifel made the move based on the company’s recent growth execution and consistent ability to outperform its peers despite increased competition and macroeconomic headwinds. The firm is very bullish on Priceline’s platform and its competitive moat, which has grown wider based on organic growth.

In fact, Stifel regards PCLN in the same elite esteem as juggernauts like Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Alibaba. The analyst lauded the company’s latest earnings release, which saw solid top-line and bottom-line growth, not to mention 29% room night growth and big expectations for 2017 room nights growth. All of these factors combine to make the company not just the best in its class, but a top tech play in general.

While Priceline could face short-term headwinds tied to ad spend, given its platform strength and high ROI from past marketing efforts, the company represents a big long term growth opportunity from current levels.

Priceline shares fell $7.07 (-0.45%) to $1,563.19 in Thursday morning trading. Year-to-date, PCLN has gained 21.73%, more than tripling the return of the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

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