Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BKNG) Sees Significant Increase in Short Interest

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Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:BKNG) was the target of a large growth in short interest in the month of July. As of July 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,278,200 shares, a growth of 15.5% from the June 30th total of 1,106,400 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 370,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 3.5 days. Approximately 2.8% of the company’s shares are sold short.

A number of research firms have weighed in on BKNG. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price objective on shares of Booking from $1,930.00 to $2,125.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 8th. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on shares of Booking from $2,050.00 to $2,100.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 8th. Citigroup upgraded shares of Booking from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and reduced their price objective for the company from $1,800.00 to $1,745.02 in a research note on Thursday, May 23rd. Royal Bank of Canada restated an “outperform” rating and set a $2,100.00 price objective (down from $2,150.00) on shares of Booking in a research note on Thursday, August 8th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Booking from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 9th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have issued a hold rating and fourteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Booking currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $2,066.00.

Shares of Booking stock traded down $37.42 on Wednesday, hitting $1,905.77. 11,148 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 434,731. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $1,890.39. Booking has a 52 week low of $1,606.27 and a 52 week high of $2,019.48. The firm has a market cap of $81.52 billion, a PE ratio of 20.52, a P/E/G ratio of 1.55 and a beta of 1.14. The company has a quick ratio of 1.58, a current ratio of 1.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.74.

Booking (NASDAQ:BKNG) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 7th. The business services provider reported $23.59 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $22.80 by $0.79. Booking had a net margin of 28.19% and a return on equity of 56.70%. The company had revenue of $3.85 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.78 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $20.13 earnings per share. Booking’s quarterly revenue was up 8.8% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts anticipate that Booking will post 101.54 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Booking news, Director Jeffrey E. Epstein sold 250 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $1,755.75, for a total transaction of $438,937.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Gillian Tans sold 606 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $1,791.14, for a total transaction of $1,085,430.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.27% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in BKNG. FTB Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Booking by 14.3% during the second quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 48 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $89,000 after purchasing an additional 6 shares during the period. Savant Capital LLC increased its holdings in Booking by 1.9% in the 2nd quarter. Savant Capital LLC now owns 324 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $607,000 after buying an additional 6 shares during the period. Acadian Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in Booking by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 663 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $1,243,000 after buying an additional 6 shares during the period. Whittier Trust Co. increased its holdings in Booking by 16.3% in the 2nd quarter. Whittier Trust Co. now owns 50 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $94,000 after buying an additional 7 shares during the period. Finally, Good Life Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Booking by 6.2% in the 1st quarter. Good Life Advisors LLC now owns 138 shares of the business services provider’s stock worth $239,000 after buying an additional 8 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 94.69% of the company’s stock.

Booking Company Profile

Booking Holdings Inc, formerly The Priceline Group Inc, is a provider of travel and restaurant online reservation and related services. The Company, through its online travel companies (OTCs), connects consumers wishing to make travel reservations with providers of travel services across the world. It offers consumers an array of accommodation reservations (including hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels, apartments, vacation rentals and other properties) through its Booking.com, priceline.com and agoda.com brands.

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