Priceline’s profit, revenue up; income takes a hit from OpenTable division

By Kevin Zimmerman

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Online travel agency The Priceline Group reported that third-quarter gross travel bookings were $18.5 billion, an increase of 25 percent over the year-ago quarter. In addition, it reported  gross profit of $3.6 billion – up 22 percent from the prior year – and international operations’ gross profit of $3.3 billion, up 26 percent. Hotel bookings rose 29.4 percent in the three months that ended Sept. 30, while car rental bookings were up 12.5 percent.

Third-quarter net income at the Norwalk company was $506 million, a 58 percent decrease from the prior year. Net income was down 57 percent from the previous third quarter to $10.13 per diluted share.priceline_logo_lockup_-centered

Priceline said the decreases were due to a noncash charge of $941 million for scaling back its plans to expand restaurant reservation website operator OpenTable, which it acquired for $2.6 billion in 2014.

Priceline is still searching for a CEO following the April resignation of Darren Huston after an investigation found that his personal relationship with an employee violated the company’s code of conduct. Since that time, Jeffery Boyd has served as interim CEO.

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