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What's in Store for Booking Holdings (BKNG) in Q2 Earnings?

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Booking Holdings Inc. (BKNG - Free Report) is scheduled to report second-quarter 2018 results on Aug 8.

The company topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 10.33%.

In the last reported quarter, Booking Holdings delivered a positive earnings surprise of 12.9%. Non-GAAP earnings came in $12 per share, which grew 22% on a year-over-year basis but declined 29% sequentially.

Net Revenues were $2.93 billion, increasing 21% from the prior-year quarter and 4.5% sequentially. The figure also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.87 million.

Top-line growth was driven by strong performance of agency and merchant businesses of the company. Moreover, robust overall bookings drove the results.

For the second quarter, the company expects pro-forma earnings to lie within the range of $16.35-$17per share.

Coming to the price performance, shares of Booking Holdings have returned 16.8% on a year-to-date basis, underperforming the industry’s rally of 28%.

Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.



Key Metrics to Drive Growth

Gross bookings remain the key growth factor of Booking Holdings, which is expected to continue to improve in the to-be reported quarter with the company’s strong focus on investments in people, systems and brand marketing. These will also drive the direct traffic on the company’s website.

Moreover, the loyalty programs on its platform and strong efforts toward enhancing the travel experience will continue to drive the customer base of the company consequently aiding growth of overall bookings. The company’s strategy of ensuring customer royalty remains positive.

In the last reported quarter, gross bookings were up 20.9% year over year. This can be attributed to improved merchant and agency bookings, which grew 74.1% and 13.4% from the year-ago quarter, respectively.

Further, the company is currently benefiting from increasing room nights number. In the last reported quarter, room nights volume increased 13.2% on a year-over-year basis.

For the to-be-reported quarter, Booking Holdings expects room nights booked to grow 7-11% and total gross bookings to increase 10-114% year over year (5-9% on a constant currency basis).

Other Factors to Consider

Booking Holding’s Rental cars business is expected to ride on continuous operational improvements and this remains a tailwind. In the first quarter, rental car days increased significantly 18.7%.

Further, the company’s strong momentum in its agency model is anticipated to drive its performance in the international markets, from where the company derives bulk of its revenues. This is reflected in the merchant/agency split of revenues, which was 18/73% in the previous quarter.

We remain optimistic about the company’s strong position in the international markets and growth opportunities in the domestic market backed by company’s robust advertising business.

Booking Holdings' leading travel metasearch brand, KAYAK and OpenTable are expected to drive its advertising revenues.

During the second quarter, the company unveiled KAYAK Trip Huddle which efficiently aids in planning group traveling.

Further, KAYAK Matchmaker was launched in the second quarter for the Big Soccer Game. This tool filters travel and fan preferences which encouraged the people to travel to their preferred team’s country.

Additionally, Booking Holdings extended its partnership with Ctrip.com International which will allow the linkage of OpenTable's North American restaurants with Ctrip users.

All the above mentioned factors are expected to drive top-line growth of the company in the to-be reported quarter.

However, weaker average daily rates for accommodations (ADR), increasing advertising spend and growing investment expenses remain headwinds.

What Our Model Says

According to the Zacks model, a company with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) has good chance of beating estimates if it also has a positive Earnings ESP. The Sell-rated stocks (Zacks Rank #4 or 5) are best avoided. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

Booking Holdings currently has a Zacks Rank #4 and an Earnings ESP of +0.87%. Our proven model indicates that the company is unlikely to beat estimates this earnings season.

Stocks That Warrant a Look

Here are few stocks worth considering as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to deliver an earnings beat in the upcoming releases.

Vishay Intertechnology (VSH - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +2.41% and a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Agilent Technologies (A - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +1.15% and a Zacks Rank #3.

Applied Materials (AMAT - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +0.95 and a Zacks Rank #3.

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