Priceline Plunges in Earnings Aftershock

Though profits for Priceline.com Inc.’s (NASDAQ:PCLN) first quarter topped estimates, its forecast for the second quarter was off analysts’ forecasts, which shaved as much as 8.2 percent from its share price in extended trading yesterday.

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Net income in the first quarter jumped 74 percent to $182 million, or $3.54 a share. Excluding items, earnings were $4.28 a share, which was much better than the average analyst estimate of $3.95 a share. Revenues were up 28 percent to $1.04 billion, with international sales increasing 59 percent to $617 million.

For the second quarter, the company’s profit estimate of $7.20 to $7.40 a share fell short of analysts’ expectations of $7.43 a share. The company anticipates a growth in international bookings in the second quarter of 37 percent, much lower than the 54 percent seen in the first quarter.

Since as much as 60 percent of the company’s business comes from overseas, mainly Europe, the ongoing debt crisis and political turmoil in the region have added a level of uncertainty surrounding the business, Chief Executive Officer Jeffery Boyd commented during the earnings conference call.

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