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Priceline Q2 Profit Up On Higher Bookings

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Priceline Q2 Profit Up On Higher Bookings

Travel website owner Priceline reported a higher quarterly profit on Thursday as it booked more hotel stays, car rentals and airline tickets.

Net income jumped to USD$331.2 million in the first quarter, from USD$244.2 million a year earlier.

Quarterly revenue rose 26 percent to USD$1.64 billion.

Profit was aided by growth in newer markets such as Asia-Pacific, South America and Eastern Europe, the company said. Gross bookings rose 34 percent to USD$12.3 billion.

Priceline is "executing well," said Dan Kurnos, an analyst with Benchmark Co. Its shares rose 1.3 percent.

The company also forecast second-quarter profit below estimates, saying a decline in its "name-your-own-price" segment would hurt revenue growth.

Priceline said it would boost advertising spending in the second quarter, having deferred some investment from the first period because of severe winter weather in North America.

It targeted revenue to rise 19 percent to 29 percent in the period, which translates into USD$2 billion - USD$2.17 billion. The company said the name-your-own-price business for hotel, air and car services had weakened in part due to the limited availability of discounted rates.

(Reuters)