Automatisk udkast

Læs os | Lyt til os | Se os | Tilslutte Live Events | Slå annoncer fra | Levende |

Klik på dit sprog for at oversætte denne artikel:

Afrikaans Afrikaans Albanian Albanian Amharic Amharic Arabic Arabic Armenian Armenian Azerbaijani Azerbaijani Basque Basque Belarusian Belarusian Bengali Bengali Bosnian Bosnian Bulgarian Bulgarian Catalan Catalan Cebuano Cebuano Chichewa Chichewa Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Traditional) Corsican Corsican Croatian Croatian Czech Czech Danish Danish Dutch Dutch English English Esperanto Esperanto Estonian Estonian Filipino Filipino Finnish Finnish French French Frisian Frisian Galician Galician Georgian Georgian German German Greek Greek Gujarati Gujarati Haitian Creole Haitian Creole Hausa Hausa Hawaiian Hawaiian Hebrew Hebrew Hindi Hindi Hmong Hmong Hungarian Hungarian Icelandic Icelandic Igbo Igbo Indonesian Indonesian Irish Irish Italian Italian Japanese Japanese Javanese Javanese Kannada Kannada Kazakh Kazakh Khmer Khmer Korean Korean Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kyrgyz Kyrgyz Lao Lao Latin Latin Latvian Latvian Lithuanian Lithuanian Luxembourgish Luxembourgish Macedonian Macedonian Malagasy Malagasy Malay Malay Malayalam Malayalam Maltese Maltese Maori Maori Marathi Marathi Mongolian Mongolian Myanmar (Burmese) Myanmar (Burmese) Nepali Nepali Norwegian Norwegian Pashto Pashto Persian Persian Polish Polish Portuguese Portuguese Punjabi Punjabi Romanian Romanian Russian Russian Samoan Samoan Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic Serbian Serbian Sesotho Sesotho Shona Shona Sindhi Sindhi Sinhala Sinhala Slovak Slovak Slovenian Slovenian Somali Somali Spanish Spanish Sudanese Sudanese Swahili Swahili Swedish Swedish Tajik Tajik Tamil Tamil Telugu Telugu Thai Thai Turkish Turkish Ukrainian Ukrainian Urdu Urdu Uzbek Uzbek Vietnamese Vietnamese Welsh Welsh Xhosa Xhosa Yiddish Yiddish Yoruba Yoruba Zulu Zulu

Mest overskud fra Priceline kommer fra salg af europæiske hotelværelser

Skrevet af editor

Volcanic ash. A European economy on the precipice. Riots in Thailand. Online travel agency deftly flew through all of it, outdistancing peers yet again.

Volcanic ash. A European economy on the precipice. Riots in Thailand. Online travel agency deftly flew through all of it, outdistancing peers yet again.

Since 2007, Priceline stock is up more than 400%. Nearest competitor Expedia is up just 10%, while smaller rival Orbitz Worldwide has seen its shares decline 70%. Travelocity is closely held.

Why the stunning outperformance? Though Priceline is famous for letting you “name your own price” for airline tickets, most profit actually comes from selling European hotel rooms. There, Priceline maintains a big lead, thanks to clever acquisitions and a unique business model.

In 2005, Priceline picked up Netherlands-based online hotel site, now the backbone of its international business, for $133 million. In the second quarter alone, Priceline generated $322 million of gross profit internationally, 69% of the company’s total.

Fragmented markets are where intermediaries can add the most value and generate the most profit. While there may be a handful of airlines that can get you from Point A to Point B, Point B has dozens of hotels to choose from. So while airlines pay a few dollars in commissions for each booking, hotels pay about 15% of the room rate.

While Expedia bests Priceline in gross travel bookings, Priceline sells more hotel-room nights—23.2 million in the second quarter against Expedia’s 20.3 million. Second-quarter operating margin for Priceline was 39% versus 23% for Expedia. Orbitz sells mostly airline tickets, so badly lags behind the other two.

Europe is particularly lucrative due to its higher percentage of boutique hotels, as opposed to the chain-heavy U.S. The growth opportunity is also better. Only 17% of European hotel bookings are made online, says PhoCusWright, compared with 29% in the U.S.

The good news for Priceline is that it may be able to maintain its big European lead. The way it charges for each booking has a worse cash-flow profile than Expedia’s, but it is more attractive to the hotels themselves. That helps lock up inventory. More customers and more inventory creates a network effect not unlike eBay’s in the auction business, a sturdy barrier to entry.

Yet Priceline’s premium valuation should still give investors pause. At about $295 a share, the company is valued at a steep 18 times analysts’ estimate for 2010 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization. Expedia trades at just seven times. Priceline’s focus on high-margin hotels and faster-growing Europe certainly makes it more attractive, but the frothy level leaves investors little margin of safety if, for instance, a double-dip recession smacks travel.

The rising tide of travel booked online will lift Expedia, too. Its big discount relative to Priceline may make it the better long-term bet.