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Booking Holdings Inc.

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2019 Vault Rankings

About Booking Holdings Inc.

Booking Holdings (formerly The Priceline Group) operates six of the world's leading online travel tools. Booking.com is its namesake and top brand and offers online reservation services for nearly 2.6 million properties -- including hotels, resorts, apartments, and homes -- across over 230-plus countries. The holding company also owns Priceline, which features discount bookings for hotels, cars, airline tickets, and vacation packages; other brands include Agoda, KAYAK, RentalCars, and OpenTable. Booking Holdings generates revenues from credit card processing rebates and customer processing fees, advertising services, restaurant reservations and management services, and various other services, such as travel-related insurance. It was founded in 1997 and generates some 90% of sales outside the US.

Operations

Booking Holdings (formerly The Priceline Group) operates an online global travel services network. It works to connect customers looking to make travel reservations with providers of travel services worldwide, including nearly 2.6 million hotels and accommodations.

Internationally, the company offers a retail, price-disclosed hotel and accommodation reservation service through global brands Booking.com (the world's largest online hotel and accommodation website) and Agoda.com (an online hotel reservation service with operations primarily in Asia-Pacific Region). In the US, it offers reservations via priceline.com brand for hotels, rental cars, airline tickets, and vacations packages. KAYAK allows consumers to easily search and compare travel itineraries and prices, including airline ticket, accommodation reservation and rental car reservation information, from hundreds of travel websites at once.

OpenTable allows consumers to set up restaurant reservations online, and Rentalcars.com is a leading rental car reservation service.

More than 65% of Priceline Group's total revenue comes from agency revenue (commissions paid by travel service providers), while merchant revenue (service fees paid by travelers) and advertising revenue make up some 25% and nearly 10% of its total sales, respectively.

Geographic Reach

Connecticut-based Booking Holdings (formerly The Priceline Group) serves more than 230 countries. Its ownership of Amsterdam-based Booking.com means the company generates about 80% of its total revenue from the Netherlands. The US and other international markets together generate over 20%.

Agoda.com is based in Singapore, Priceline and KAYAK are both headquartered in Connecticut, OpenTable is based in San Francisco, and Rentalcars.com is located in Netherlands. Additional offices and data centers are located in the US, UK, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

 

Sales and Marketing

Booking Holdings aggressively promotes its brands online, relying on internet search engine (mostly Google) keyword purchases, referrals from meta-search sites and travel research websites, affiliate programs, and other performance-based marketing and incentives.

The Company provides loyalty programs where participating consumers are awarded loyalty points on current transactions that can be redeemed in the future. The Company's largest loyalty program is at OpenTable, where points can be redeemed for rewards such as qualifying reservations at participating restaurants, third-party gift cards and accommodation reservations booked through some of the Company's other platforms.

It spent $4.4 billion on performance marketing in 2019, compared to $4.4 billion and $4.2 billion the prior two years. Brand marketing, which is a specific focus for the company, increased to $548 million in 2019, compared to $509 million and $435 million in 2018 and 2017, respectively.

Financial Performance

Revenue growth for Booking Holdings continued an upward trend since 2015. For that five-year span, the revenue grew by 63%, thanks to the rising popularity of the online travel booking business.

In fiscal 2019, the company saw its sales hit $15.1 billion, up 4% from the prior year. Increase in revenue was due to increase in sales in accommodation reservation services.

Net income jumped 22% to $4.9 billion compared to 2018 due to increase in sales.

Cash at the end of 2019 was $6.3 billion, an increase of $3.7 billion from the prior year. Cash from operations contributed $4.9 billion to the coffers, while investing activities added another $7.1 billion from proceeds on the sale of investments. Financing activities used $8.2 billion, primarily for stock repurchase program.

Strategy

Booking Holdings' strategy is to continue to participate broadly in this online growth by expanding its service offerings and markets. In particular, the Company seeks to: Leverage technology to provide consumers with the best experience; Partner with travel service providers and restaurants to their mutual benefit; Operate multiple brands that collaborate with each other; and Invest in profitable and sustainable growth.

The company have also entered into commercial relationships with other online travel companies, such as Didi (the leading ride hailing service in China) and Grab (the leading ride hailing company in Southeast Asia), whereby the customers of one company will have access to the services of the other. For example, through the Booking.com app, a Booking.com customer traveling in Southeast Asia can book a local ride arranged by Grab.

Mergers and Acquisitions

In 2019, Booking Holdings agreed to acquire Washington, DC-based Venga, which operates a guest management platform for restaurants and other businesses. The business will improve the offerings of OpenTable for its more than 51,000 restaurant partners.

Company Background

Priceline founder Jay Walker launched a string of ventures before making the leap into e-commerce. In 1994 he founded Walker Digital , an entrepreneurial think tank formed to develop business models that could germinate into new companies.

In 1996 Walker Digital found the impetus that would drive Priceline: Each day major airlines have more than 500,000 empty seats. Walker's team reasoned that if the airlines were offered even a discounted price for these empty seats, they'd jump at the chance to cut their losses. Based on that premise, Walker Digital developed a "name your price" system and founded Priceline in 1997.

The company went public with a chart-busting IPO in 1999.

 

In April 2014, the company changed its name from Priceline.com to The Priceline Group to better reflect the growth of its business and all of its subsidiaries and brands, including Booking.com, priceline.com, KAYAK, OpenTable, and others. Four years later it changed its name again -- to Booking Holdings -- reflecting its most important brand.

Booking Holdings Inc.

800 Connecticut Ave
Norwalk, CT 06854-1631
Phone: 1 (203) 299-8000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: BKNG
Stock Exchange: , NASDAQ
Chairman: Jeffery H. Boyd
SVP, CFO, and Chief Accounting Officer: Daniel J. Finnegan
CEO: Glenn D. Fogel
Employees (This Location): 116
Employees (All Locations): 26,400

Major Office Locations

Norwalk, CT

Other Locations

Denver, CO
Miami Beach, FL
Concord, MA
Wayne, PA
Dallas, TX
Bellevue, WA
Bordeaux, France
Lyon, France
Montpellier, France
Nice, France
Saint Jacques De La Lande, France
Sallanches, France
Strasbourg, France
Bruxelles, Belgium
Zürich, Switzerland