Which Firm Is 'One of the 3 Best-Run' Web Companies?

Online travel agency Pricelineposted quarterly profit that beat analyst forecasts earlier this week, as bookings jumped 43 percent. So is the travel industry in the midst of a rebound? Mark Mahaney, Internet research director at Citigroup Investment Research, shared his best plays.

“Priceline is probably one of the three best-run companies across the entire Internet space and it has one of the highest earnings growth profiles,” Mahaney told CNBC.

“We think it grows earnings 40 percent this year and our price target is $325.”

Mahaney also likes Expedia and has a $28 price target on the firm.

“It’s the value play in the group,” he said of the firm. “Expedia’s more of a US company so the growth profile isn’t as good, but it has a very attractive high free cash flow yield and they’ll be buying back stock.”

Meanwhile, Mahaney has a “hold” rating on Orbitz .

Scorecard—What He Said:

  • Mahaney's Previous Appearance on CNBC (Jul. 30, 2010)

Mixed Market Views:

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Mahaney has investment banking clients who own shares of PLCN.

Within the past 12 months, Citigroup Global Markets or its affiliates has acted as manager or co-manager of an offering of securities of PLCN. Citigroup Global Markets or its affiliates have received compensation for investment banking services provided within the past 12 months from PLCN.

Mahaney does not own shares of EXPE.

Citigroup Global Markets or an affiliate received compensation for products and services other than investment banking services in the past 12 months from EXPE.

Citigroup Global Markets currently has, or had within the past 12 months, had EXPE as clients and the services provided were non-investment-banking, securities related.