NORWALK – Priceline.com, Inc. (NASDQ:PCLN) announced that second quarter revenue exceeded analysts’ expectations on Thursday. Revenues jumped 27 percent to $ 1.68 billion, compared to $ 1.33 billion a year earlier. The growth was primarily driven by international travelers who chose the name your own price option over Priceline’s rivals as international bookings surged 44 percent and the company’s Amsterdam-based Booking.com unit continued to grow even as the European debt crisis entered its fourth year.
The better than expected results followed a report by Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE) that profit had slumped in the second quarter, leading Expedia shares to their biggest drop in eight years.
According to Ron Josey at JMP Securities, ‘it was an extremely good quarter for Priceline, the thesis that they took market share has played out.’ Shares in Priceline rose 5 percent in after-hours trading and have gains 51 percent this year, compared to a 17 percent drop from Expedia.
The international market has become increasingly important for Priceline and year-on-year bookings climbed from $ 6 billion to $ 8.6 billion in the second quarter. To support international growth Priceline acquired Booking.com in 2005 and the Bangkok-based Agoda.com in 2007. The moves gave Priceline a global presence.
Meanwhile, shares in Orbitz Worldwide Inc. (NYSE:OWW) jumped 37 percent to a six-year high, after the company forecasted 2013 sales will exceeded analysts’ estimate.
With Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) hovering near $ 900 per share, Priceline in the mid-$ 900 range, both stocks are closing in on $ 1,000. Reaching that milestone is seen as a as a psychological boost for a company and Priceline appears to be on a clear path to $ 1,000 as today’s results should provide a nice tailwind going into Friday’s trading.
The company also announced on Thursday that customers booking economy fares on Denver-based Frontier Airlines (NASDAQ:RJET) can include on one free carry-on bag. In addition to Economy fare availability through Priceline’s retail offering, all travelers using the Name Your Own Price airline tickets service will enjoy one free carry-on bag if they receive a Frontier Airlines itinerary.
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