Travel Stock Slips Amid Billion-Dollar Acquisition

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Booking Holdings will acquire Etraveli Group for about $1.83 billion

Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:BKNG) is in the spotlight today, after news that it will buy Swedish travel agency Etraveli Group from CVC Capital Partners for 1.63 billion euros, or about $1.83 billion. The company will remain in Sweden and operate as an independent business with its current management. At last glance, Booking Holdings stock was down 0.3% to trade at $2,333.91.

On the charts, BKNG has taken a step back since its Nov. 8 record high of $2,687.29. The stock slipped below a slew of long-term moving averages last week, but appears to have found support below the $2,300 level. Year-to-date, the equity is up just 4.4%. 

Of the 22 analysts in coverage, nine carry a “strong buy” rating, with 12 a tepid “hold,” and one “strong sell.” Meanwhile, shorts have been jumping ship, with short interest down 26.5% during the two most recent reporting periods. 

Meanwhile, options traders have been overwhelmingly bullish over the last 10 weeks. This is per BKNG’s 50-day call/put volume ratio of 1.25 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which stands higher than all other readings from the past year.