Analysts: Beware These 3 Travel Stocks

EXPE, PCLN, and CTRP stocks were slapped with downgrades today

Dec 7, 2017 at 10:14 AM
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Analysts at MKM Partners, J.P. Morgan Securities, and Cowen weighed in a trio of  online travel stocks this morning: Expedia Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE), Priceline Group Inc (NASDAQ:PLCN), and Ctrip.com International Ltd (NASDAQ:CTRP). Below, we'll take a look at EXPE, PCLN, and CTRP stocks, which have been struggling in recent months.

MKM Sees New Lows for EXPE Stock

MKM Partners downgraded Expedia stock to "neutral" from "buy," and sliced its price target to $115 from $170 -- in territory not charted since January. However, the analysts said they don't think EXPE's long-term fundamentals are a concern.

EXPE shares suffered a steep bear gap in late October, after a disappointing earnings showing. Since then, the security has struggled to surmount the $128 region -- home to its stagnating 80-week moving average. At last check, EXPE stock was down 1.5% at $117.34.

Additional downgrades could be in store for the travel stock, too. Despite the equity giving up more than 20% in the past six months, 18 out of 24 analysts maintain "buy" or better opinions.

Analysts: Don't Expect PCLN Stock to Improve Much

Priceline stock was also downgraded to "neutral" from "buy" at MKM Partners, which cut its price target to $1,850 from $2,225. The analysts noted that PCLN shares have underperformed since early August, after the company issued a soft profit forecast, and they don't expect the stock's performance to improve much.

Disappointing guidance also sent Priceline stock gapping lower in early November, and since then the security has struggled beneath its 50-week moving average. At last check, PCLN was down 1.7% at $1,690.64, but remains 15.6% higher year-to-date.

As with Expedia, analysts remain devoted to Priceline. In fact, seventeen of 23 analysts offer up "buy" or "strong buy" endorsements, leaving the door wide open for additional downgrades to exacerbate selling pressure on the shares.

CTRP Stock Vulnerable to More Downgrades

Ctrip.com stock is down 2.5% at $44.14, after J.P. Morgan Securities downgraded the shares to "neutral" from "overweight," and cut its price target to $45 from $50, citing concerns about de-bundling. In addition, Cowen trimmed its price target to $47 from $48, citing a negative news cycle, including a recent childcare scandal.

As with EXPE and PCLN, it's been a rough six months for CTRP, shedding more than 23%. The stock is now on pace for its lowest close since early February, and could be vulnerable to more brokerage backlash. Seven of nine analysts maintain "buy" or better ratings, with not a "sell" in sight.

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