Priceline.com, the online travel agency known for its name-your-own-price auction, on Tuesday topped analysts' estimates for quarterly profit, citing improved hotel and car-rental reservations, and its shares rose in extended trading.
The company, which competes with Expedia Inc and Orbitz Worldwide, said fourth-quarter net income was $288.7 million, or $5.63 per share, compared with $225.7 million, or $4.41 per share, a year earlier.
On a non-GAAP basis, profit was $6.77 per share. Analysts, on average, had expected $6.54 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Gross bookings, or the dollar value of all travel services purchased, rose 32.9 percent to $6.6 billion in the fourth quarter. Priceline said it expected those bookings to rise 30 percent to 37 percent in the current first quarter compared with the year earlier.
Priceline, which owes much of its success to international bookings on its Booking.com European travel site, forecast profit excluding items of $4.90 to $5.30 a share for the first quarter on a revenue increase of 17 percent to 24 percent. Analysts, on average, have forecast profit of $5.14 per share for the current quarter.
Shares of Priceline.com were up more than 4 percent from their Nasdaq close of $678.49 after the company announced its financial results.
(Reporting by Karen Jacobs)