Piper Jaffray analyst thinks there’s so much opportunity for Priceline.com to grow in emerging markets, its shares will reach $1,000 in two years.
“I am sober to the fact it might not sustain that level for the next few years,” he told CNBC Thursday, the same day he issued a report with that forecast. “It probably will decelerate. But we do think a sustainable earnings growth rate over the next couple of years is going to be greater than 20 percent.”
Olson thinks the online travel and hotel booker [PCLN 711.99 8.34 (+1.19%) ], which recently “killed off” its longtime advertising spokesman, actor William Shatner, can take market share away from traditional travel agencies — particularly in Europe and emerging markets such as China — despite economic slowdowns in those regions.
“The beauty of this is we don’t have to have growth in these economies to make this work. It comes down to a penetration issue,” said Olson, who is “overweight” on the stock and has a $763 price target. He said that while 60 percent of U.S. travel is booked online, it is only 40 percent in Europe and 15 percent in emerging markets.
Olson’s checks have found Priceline is blanketing Europe to build its brand, he said.
“There’s still a lot of room to go,” he said, calling international expansion Priceline’s “sweet spot.”