Tags: Priceline.com | Advances | Earnings | Forecast | Exceeds | Estimates

Priceline.com Advances as Earnings Forecast Exceeds Estimates

Tuesday, 09 Nov 2010 03:06 PM

Priceline.com Inc., the second- largest online travel agency, rose the most in more than three months in Nasdaq trading after forecasting fourth-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates.

Profit this quarter, excluding some items, will be $2.91 to $3.06 a share, the company said yesterday in a statement. Analysts had projected earnings of $2.68 a share.

A rebound in travel to Europe and Asia led travelers to use Priceline to arrange more hotel stays, fueling a 54 percent gain in booked room nights. An increase in international flight bookings also boosted the results.

Priceline, based in Norwalk, Connecticut, rose $35.77, or 9.2 percent, to $424.35 at 10:07 a.m. New York time on the Nasdaq Stock Market. It climbed as high as $425.70, or 9.6 percent, the biggest advance since Aug. 4. The shares had climbed 78 percent this year before today.

Third-quarter sales gained 37 percent to $1 billion, exceeding the $974 million average projection in a Bloomberg survey of analysts. Profit excluding some costs was $5.33 a share, topping the $4.97 predicted by analysts.

Net income fell 30 percent to $223 million, or $4.41 a share, from $319 million, or $6.42, a year earlier.

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