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Priceline Group Inc PCLN
Q4 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 02/26/2013

Operator: Welcome to the Priceline Group's Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2012 Conference Call. Priceline 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, forecasted in any such forward-looking statements. Expressions of future goals and similar expressions reflecting something other than historical fact are intended to identify forward-looking statements.

For a list of factors that could cause Priceline'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 Priceline's earnings press release as well as Priceline's most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Unless required by law, Priceline undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. A copy of Priceline's earnings press release together with an accompanying financial and statistical supplement is available in the Investor Relations section of Priceline's website located at www.priceline.com.

And now, I'd like to introduce the Priceline Group's speakers for this afternoon; Jeffery Boyd and Daniel Finnegan. Go ahead gentlemen.

Jeffery H. Boyd - President and CEO: Thank you very much. Welcome to Priceline's fourth quarter conference call. I'm here with Priceline's CFO, Dan Finnegan. I will make some opening remarks and Dan will give a detailed financial review. After the prepared portion, we'll take questions.

Priceline reported consolidated gross bookings for the fourth quarter of approximately $6.6 billion, up 33% year-over-year. Gross bookings growth accelerated sequentially due to a slight acceleration in room night growth and a diminished foreign exchange headwind as the euro strengthened during the quarter. Non-GAAP net income was $349 million or $6.77 per share, up 26% versus prior year.

Fourth quarter results surpassed FactSet consensus estimates of $6.53 per share and our guidance for the quarter. Worldwide hotel room-night reservations were 46.2 million for the quarter, up 38% year-over-year. For the full year Priceline reported gross booking of $28.5 billion, up 31% from 2011 and non-GAAP net income per share of $31.28, up 33% increase over 2011.

2012 full year U.S. dollar denominated gross bookings and earnings growth rates were significantly reduced by a weaker euro throughout the year.

Growth rates for our international business increased slightly on a local currency basis during the quarter, with 43% gross bookings growth. Room night growth rates in Europe held up better than forecast and seasonal strength in our faster growing APAC and South American markets are helping as they become a larger portion of the global business.

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