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Booking Holdings

BKNG is an online travel agency, operating six primary brands: Priceline.com reservation service in the United States, Booking.com reservation service internationally, travel search engine Kayak, Asia-Pacific reservation service Agoda.com, car rental service Rentalcars.com, and restaurant reservation service OpenTable. BKNG started in 1998 during the dot-com era, initially offering its Name Your Own Price product for airline tickets. Name Your Own Price was quickly expanded to other airlines, hotel rooms and rental cars, other consumer retail products, and B2B initiatives. Consumer domestic hotels was the only successfully surviving sector. Entering the international hotel sector, BKNG bought European-based Booking.com in 2005 and Asian-based Agoda in 2007 for a total all-in price of $240 million cash. Booking.com continues to add hotel inventory at high rates, expanding into new regions, and taking share from offline travel agencies. The company changed its name from Priceline in early 1Q18 to reflect its importance. The international sector is the growth engine, providing 89% of 2017 gross profit. (20 Nov 2018)

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US Employment: Modest Gains for Jobs & Wages

Sector Analysis: 09 Dec 2018, 9:01 PM ET - Payrolls and wages both took a step back in November.  We highlight this months employment data and discuss the possibility for manufacturing, construction, and mining employment to lead a 2019 deceleration in jobs growth.

US Income & Spending: Strong Start to 4Q Spending

Strategy Analysis: 30 Nov 2018, 4:37 AM ET - October consumer data delivered above expectations with strong real spending, solid income, and soft inflation.  We dig into the details and highlight strong growth in discretionary spending categories.

Consumer Pulse: Holiday Sales Update & More

Sector Analysis: 28 Nov 2018, 4:11 AM ET - Consumer holiday spending viewed through the e-commerce lens looks to be off to a strong start. The consumer economy has a mix of puts and takes, ranging from rising mortgage rates to falling prices at the pump.
Focused

Booking Holdings: 3Q18 - Grabs APAC Investments

Worth Watching: 05 Nov 2018, 10:09 PM ET - Booking Holdings (Sr Unsec: Baa1/A-) reported 3Q18 revenues of $4.85bn, up 9.4% YoY (13% constant-currency). The increase was driven by a 53.4% increase in merchant revenues to $1.05bn, a 14.4% increase in advertising and other revenues to $259 ..

US Employment: Almost Full, Keeps Eating

Strategy Analysis: 05 Nov 2018, 5:16 AM ET - Employment growth bounced back in October with a strong 250k print.  Wage growth hit a new high, but its gradual acceleration coupled with the strong job growth trend makes us question what full employment looks like.

US Productivity Is A Small Offset To Labor Costs

Sovereign Analysis: 02 Nov 2018, 5:38 AM ET - We break down 2 separate pieces of 3Q economic data that show while labor costs continue to rise, controlling for productivity growth gives a rosier picture. 

PCE Deflator: Steady in September

Worth Watching: 29 Oct 2018, 10:19 PM ET - PCE Deflator: The September income & outlays report showed another mild month for consumer price gains. The headline all-items index increased by 0.1% MoM, bringing the YoY rate to 2.0%, down from its July peak of 2.3%. The core PCE deflator (e ..

US GDP: Consumers Show Up Again

Strategy Analysis: 29 Oct 2018, 5:06 AM ET - 3Q US GDP beat expectations with a strong performance by the US consumer, inventory growth, and government spending offsetting weak trade, residential investment, and capex.

US Inflation: Consumer Prices Eke Out Another Gain

Strategy Analysis: 11 Oct 2018, 10:35 PM ET - The September consumer price index report showed weaker price gains than expected for the second consecutive month. 

US Strategy: What to Watch for on 3Q Earning Calls

Strategy Analysis: 11 Oct 2018, 4:37 AM ET - We surveyed our analyst teams for key sector level issues they will be paying close attention to with upcoming third quarter earnings calls beyond the typical sales, margins and earnings guidance. 

US Employment: 3.0% Wage Growth on the Horizon

Strategy Analysis: 05 Oct 2018, 12:24 PM ET - September nonfarm payrolls disappointed on the headline number, but under the surface, the report was solid.  Wages posted another strong gain and are just one tick away from the 3.0% YoY milestone.

US Income & Spending: Consumption Stays On Track

Strategy Analysis: 01 Oct 2018, 6:11 AM ET - The August income & spending report contained another solid reading for consumer spending, continued income growth, and modest inflation. We dig into the pricing environment for a few discretionary spending categories.

US Employment: Finally, A Wage Growth Surprise

Strategy Analysis: 07 Sep 2018, 4:06 PM ET - The August employment report contained the long-awaited breakout in wage growth to a new cycle high. Payroll growth was also solid, and we highlight our outlook for it going forward.

US Income & Spending: Inflation Momentum Fading?

Strategy Analysis: 30 Aug 2018, 2:43 PM ET - July consumer spending and income increased largely as expected, providing a solid start to 3Q spending. The core PCE deflator hit the Fed’s 2.0% target. We highlight that the recent inflation data have cooled some from earlier this year.
Focused

Booking Holdings: 2Q18 - Renewed China Focus

Worth Watching: 09 Aug 2018, 9:48 PM ET - Booking Holdings (Sr. unsec. Baa1/A-) reported 2Q18 revenues of $3.5bn, up 16.9% YoY. Adjusted EBITDA rose 34.8% to $1.3bn during the same period. Direct bookings rose 12%, ahead of guidance, while consolidated gross bookings rose 11%, all on a ..

Consumer/Pharma: Cross-Sector Rel Val Analysis

Sector Analysis: 19 Jul 2018, 4:27 AM ET - In this report, we juxtapose OAS and leverage levels across on-the-run non-cyclical credits in the F&B and Pharma space. M&A has elevated leverage for several names, so we aim to help investors find the best spread while managing risk.

July Beige Book: Tariffs Front & Center

Sector Analysis: 19 Jul 2018, 4:26 AM ET - We parse the July Beige Book for anecdotes on the impact of tariffs. It’s clear they’re contributing to rising input costs across the US.
Focused

Booking Holdings: $500mn Didi Chuxing Stake

Worth Watching: 18 Jul 2018, 12:08 PM ET - Booking Holdings (Sr. unsec. Baa1/A-) is investing $500mn in Chinese ride-sharing service Didi Chuxing. Further financial deals were not disclosed, although given Didi's December fundraising round valuation of $56bn, BKNG's stake is worth less ..

F&B: M&A Elevates BBB Leverage Late in the Cycle

Sector Analysis: 27 Jun 2018, 4:37 AM ET - This piece looks at the implications of elevated leverage among BBB US F&B credits this late in the cycle, as well as the implications of cost inflation when companies are facing limited pricing power and possibly peak margins.

U.S. Consumer Credit: 1Q18 Trends and Takeaways

Sector Analysis: 24 May 2018, 4:25 AM ET - We delve into the Fed's consumer credit data, analyzing 1Q18 trends across asset classes. We also dig in to recently released data on age distributions and one thing is clear: consumer credit has gotten grayer.

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