Strong international growth reported by Priceline in Q2

Strong international growth reported by Priceline in Q2

Priceline.com Incorporated today reported 2nd quarter 2011 financial results for the Priceline Group. Second quarter gross travel bookings for the Group, which refers to the total dollar value, generally inclusive of all taxes and fees, of all travel services purchased by consumers, were $5.8 billion, an increase of 70% over a year ago.

The Group had revenues in the 2nd quarter of $1.1 billion, a 44% increase over a year ago. The Group’s international operations contributed revenues in the 2nd quarter of $612.9 million, a 90% increase versus a year ago (approximately 71% on a local currency basis). The Group’s gross profit for the 2nd quarter was $749.2 million, a 68% increase from the prior year. International operations contributed gross profit in the 2nd quarter of $612.1 million, a 90% increase versus a year ago (approximately 71% growth on a local currency basis). The Group’s operating income in the 2nd quarter was $324.7 million, an 88% increase from the prior year. The Group had GAAP net income applicable to common shareholders for the 2nd quarter of $256.4 million, or $5.02 per diluted share, which compares to $115.0 million or $2.26 per diluted share, in the same period a year ago.

Non-GAAP net income in the 2nd quarter was $282.6 million, a 79% increase versus the prior year. Non-GAAP net income was $5.49 per diluted share, compared to $3.09 per diluted share a year ago. As of August 4, 2011, First Call analyst consensus of non-GAAP net income per diluted share for the 2nd quarter 2011 was $4.91. Adjusted EBITDA for the 2nd quarter 2011 was $349.1 million, an increase of 71% over a year ago. The section below entitled “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” provides a definition and information about the use of non-GAAP financial measures in this press release and the attached financial and statistical supplement reconciles non-GAAP financial information with the Group’s financial results under GAAP.

“The Group benefitted from strong 2nd quarter performances by our global hotel and rental car businesses,” said Jeffery H. Boyd, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Priceline Group. “Global hotel room nights increased 56% compared to last year, while global rental car days were up 55% for the 2nd quarter. In general, our hotel booking business is benefitting from improving ADRs, continuing strength in our core markets, and high rates of growth in new markets, particularly Asia-Pacific, where both Booking.com and Agoda are performing well.” Mr. Boyd continued, “Priceline.com’s airline ticketing business experienced its strongest quarterly growth in the last six quarters, with ticket sales up 7%, and opaque ticket sales well in excess of that. Our airline partners participated more aggressively in our opaque service in the quarter’s high fare environment and priceline.com also benefitted competitively from having a larger complement of available airlines compared to other airline ticketing services.”

Looking forward, Mr. Boyd said, “Economic pressures around the world are giving leisure and business travelers ample reasons to look for maximum value in their travel spending. As we enter the height of the summer travel season, we believe that the brands represented in the Priceline Group offer superior value to our customers and we continue to work toward extending our services to new markets and consumers around the world.”

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The Priceline Group provided the following guidance for the 3rd quarter 2011:
*  Year-over-year increase in total gross travel bookings of approximately 47% - 52%.
*  Year-over-year increase in international gross travel bookings of approximately 62% -
67% (an increase of approximately 49% - 54% on a local currency basis).
*  Year-over-year increase in domestic gross travel bookings of approximately 8% to 13%.
*  Year-over-year increase in revenue of approximately 37% to 42%.
*  Year-over-year increase in gross profit of approximately 54% to 59%.
*  Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $595 million to $615 million.
*  Non-GAAP net income of between $9.10 and $9.30 per diluted share.

Non-GAAP guidance for the 3rd quarter 2011:
*  excludes non-cash amortization expense of acquisition-related intangibles,
*  excludes non-cash stock-based compensation expense,
*  excludes non-cash interest expense and gains or losses on early debt extinguishment, if
any, related to cash settled convertible debt,
*  excludes the impact, if any, of charges or benefits associated with judgments, rulings
and/or settlements related to hotel occupancy tax proceedings,
*  excludes non-cash income tax expense and reflects the impact on income taxes of certain
of the non-GAAP adjustments,
*  includes the additional impact of the non-GAAP adjustments described above on net
income attributable to noncontrolling interests,
*  includes the anti-dilutive impact of the “Conversion Spread Hedges” (see “Non-GAAP
Financial Measures” below) on diluted common shares outstanding related to
outstanding convertible notes, and
*  includes the dilutive impact of additional shares of unvested restricted stock, restricted stock units and performance share units because non-GAAP net income has been adjusted to exclude stock-based compensation.

In addition to the adjustments above, adjusted EBITDA excludes depreciation and amortization expense, interest income, interest expense, net income and loss attributable to noncontrolling interests, income taxes and includes the impact of foreign currency transactions and other expenses.

When aggregated, the non-GAAP adjustments are expected to increase adjusted EBITDA over GAAP net income by approximately $173 million in the 3rd quarter 2011. In addition, the non-3 of 11 GAAP adjustments are expected to increase non-GAAP net income over GAAP net income by approximately $41 million in the 3rd quarter 2011. On a per share basis, the Group estimates GAAP net income of approximately $8.37 to $8.57 per diluted share for the 3rd quarter 2011