With 7.8 million bookable rooms or units in the alternative
accommodations (non-hotel) market, Priceline Group is continuing to "expand
aggressively" in that space, said CEO Glenn Fogel during the company's fourth-quarter
earnings call on Monday.
During the call, an analyst asked the CEO if he felt there
was enough brand awareness of Priceline's alternative accommodations.
"You may have a point there, and I may take this to the
marketing people because I believe we have the absolute best product in that
space out there right now, and we definitely believe that this is something we
can drive very hard and it's going to provide a good growth area for us in the
future," Fogel said.
Fogel, who assumed the CEO position on Jan. 1, was also
asked if he had any plans to change the strategic direction of the company or
its mergers and acquisitions strategy.
"While my title has changed and the role I'm in has
changed, the company strategy has absolutely not changed," Fogel said. "The
strategy that we've employed over the last 17 years has been very successful, and
we're going to continue going forward the same way."
On mergers and acquisitions, he said, "I think we've
done a very good job with that in the past. We look at a lot of potential
deals, but we're careful about it. We understand the risks and we try and be
prudent, so that's the type of thing we've done in the past. I expect this is
how we're going to do it going forward."
The company reported a 34% increase in net income in the
fourth quarter to $674 million, and a 21% increase in gross profit to $2.3
billion. Gross travel bookings were up 25% to $15.1 billion in the fourth
For the full year of 2016, Priceline reported a 16% decrease
in net income to $2.1 billion, and a 20% increase in gross profit to $10.3
billion. Priceline reported full-year gross travel bookings of $68.1 billion, a
23% increase over 2015.