The Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ:PCLN) Q1 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript

May 07, 2015 • 07:30 am ET

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The Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ:PCLN) Q1 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Welcome to the Priceline Group's First Quarter 2015 Conference Call. The Priceline Group would like to remind everyone that this call may contain forward-looking statements, which are made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Therefore, actual results may differ materially from those expressed, implied or forecasted in any such forward-looking statements.

Expressions of future goals or expectations similar expressions reflecting something other than historical fact are intended to identify forward-looking statements. For a list of factors that could cause the Group's actual results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements, please refer to the Safe Harbor statements at the end of Gorup's earnings press release, as well as the Group's most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Unless required by law, the Priceline Group undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. A copy of Group's earnings press release, together with an accompanying financial and statistical supplement, is available in the Investor Relations section of the Priceline Group's website www.priceline.com.

And now, I would like to introduce the Priceline Group's speakers for this afternoon, Darren Huston and Daniel Finnegan. Go ahead, gentlemen.

Executive
Darren Huston

Okay, thank you very much. And welcome to the Priceline Group's first quarter conference call. Thank you for joining us, before the markets open this morning in New York. I'm here in Amsterdam with Priceline Group's CFO, Dan Finnegan.

The Group reported consolidated gross bookings for the fourth quarter of approximately $13.8 billion, up 12% year-over-year or about 26% on a local currency basis. Room nights exceeded $100 million for the first time during the quarter while growth accelerated slightly to 25%. Non-GAAP earnings per share was $8.12, up 4% versus prior year surpassing FactSet consensus estimates of $7.72 per share and our guidance for the quarter.

Our US dollar denominated growth rates were substantially impacted by the stronger dollar. Our international business recorded 29% gross bookings growth on a local currency basis, up from 27% last quarter. Gross bookings benefited from growth in hotel supply at Booking.com which now has over 640,000 hotels and other accommodations in over 200 countries and territories, up 40% over last year. We are continuing to ramp new property acquisition including individually owned vacation rentals with new on-boarding tools that allow owners to list their property quickly and easily on our websites. Vacation rentals nearly doubled year-over-year to 275,000, instantly bookable and confirmable properties including villas, chalets, apartments, aparthotels and other self-catered products.

Two important innovations were also launched at Booking.com in the first quarter. Booking Now, our mobile phone app for spontaneous bookers and Booking Suite, our partner facing software services platform, both launches were executed well and early results are encouraging. Each of these growth extensions represent innovation beachhead that will be