Markets & Finance

Thomas Weisel Upgrades

Thomas Weisel upgraded its investment recommendation on shares of (PCLN) to outperform from peer perform.

Analyst Jake Fuller says he sees three reasons to focus on Priceline now: 1) valuation; 2) growth is accelerating with recent additions; and 3) traffic trends could signal share gains. He says the company has improved its growth profile through a series of recent produce launches and acquisitions, which should drive three-year bookings and EBITDA growth of 10%, and 15%, respectively. Fuller believes domestic share gains and an international sales ramp could be positive in the third quarter after a disappointing second quarter. He expects $1.54 2006 EPS, ahead of the $1.45 Wall Street consensus, with the upside a function of rapid international expansion.

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