The Priceline Group Inc. (NASDAQ:PCLN) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Wednesday. Stock investors purchased 17,507 call options on the company. This represents an increase of 255% compared to the typical volume of 4,928 call options.

In related news, CEO Gillian Tans sold 122 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $1,814.00, for a total value of $221,308.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 6,044 shares in the company, valued at $10,963,816. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Jan L. Docter sold 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $1,857.67, for a total transaction of $2,786,505.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 346 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $642,753.82. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 1,744 shares of company stock valued at $3,245,648 over the last quarter. 0.42% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Union Bankshares Corp acquired a new stake in shares of The Priceline Group during the first quarter valued at $201,000. Addenda Capital Inc. boosted its position in shares of The Priceline Group by 6.4% in the first quarter. Addenda Capital Inc. now owns 4,275 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $7,610,000 after buying an additional 258 shares during the last quarter. Vontobel Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of The Priceline Group by 3.6% in the first quarter. Vontobel Asset Management Inc. now owns 198,395 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $358,255,000 after buying an additional 6,920 shares during the last quarter. Koshinski Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of The Priceline Group during the first quarter valued at approximately $208,000. Finally, Quadrant Capital Group LLC boosted its position in shares of The Priceline Group by 8.0% in the first quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 135 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $226,000 after buying an additional 10 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 95.01% of the company’s stock.

The Priceline Group (PCLN) opened at 1854.17 on Friday. The Priceline Group has a 52-week low of $1,392.44 and a 52-week high of $2,067.99. The company has a 50-day moving average of $1,950.91 and a 200 day moving average of $1,809.82. The firm has a market cap of $90.96 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 39.38 and a beta of 1.42.

The Priceline Group (NASDAQ:PCLN) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 8th. The business services provider reported $15.14 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $14.25 by $0.89. The Priceline Group had a net margin of 20.51% and a return on equity of 33.10%. The business had revenue of $3.02 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.99 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $13.93 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 18.3% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that The Priceline Group will post $74.80 EPS for the current year.

PCLN has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. BidaskClub upgraded shares of The Priceline Group from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report on Saturday, July 1st. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) upped their price objective on shares of The Priceline Group from $1,750.00 to $1,850.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 10th. Macquarie set a $1,970.00 price objective on shares of The Priceline Group and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 18th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their price objective on shares of The Priceline Group from $1,940.00 to $2,125.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 10th. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $1,850.00 price objective on shares of The Priceline Group in a report on Monday, April 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, twenty-six have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $1,909.30.

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About The Priceline Group

The Priceline Group Inc is a provider of travel and restaurant online reservation and related services. The Company, through its online travel companies (OTCs), connects consumers wishing to make travel reservations with providers of travel services across the world. It offers consumers an array of accommodation reservations (including hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels, apartments, vacation rentals and other properties) through its Booking.com, priceline.com and agoda.com brands.

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