priceline.com Incorporated (NASDAQ:PCLN) Reports Strong 4Q10 Results with Q111 Guidance Above Street

priceline.com Incorporated (NASDAQ:PCLN) reported strong fourth fiscal quarter results today that soundly beat Street consensus expectations.

The Company reported fourth fiscal quarter revenue of $731 million, a 35% increase year over year from last year’s revenue of $542 million in the same quarter. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected $734.9 million in revenue. International operations also increased 68%. This increase in revenue year over year is driven in part by continued operational efficiencies and lower expenses and lower tax rate.

Net income for the fourth fiscal quarter rose 75.16% year over year to $135.7 million or $2.66 a share from $78.5 million or $1.55 a share in the same quarter last year.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned $3.40 a share; 31 cents above the consensus estimate of $3.09 a share. The upside in the quarter came again from hotels where strong transaction growth both in the US and internationally, accompanied by improving ADRs, delivered nice growth in gross bookings.

Adjusted EBITDA of $222.8 million was well ahead of management guidance of 200-$210 million on improved advertising efficiency and lower personnel expense. For the quarter, gross bookings reached $3.26 billion on total unit sales of 22.0 million hotel room nights, up 51% year over year, 1.3 million airline tickets, down 2% year over year, and 3.9 million rental car days, up 65% year over year. Revenue margin in the quarter was 22.4%, down 150 basis points year over year.

For the first fiscal quarter, The Company said it expects to earn $2.34 to $2.44 per share, above the analysts’ prediction of $2.30 per share. The company also forecast revenue growth of 29 percent to 34 percent over the year-ago quarter to $753.9 million, compared with estimates of $731.9 million.

Shares of an online travel company, which offers a range of travel services, including hotel rooms, car rentals, airline tickets, vacation packages, cruises and destination services is currently trading at $453.67, up 6.50% from its previous day close after the company posted solid fourth fiscal quarter results with strong fiscal first quarter guidance.

The stock climbed to a new annual high of $469.40, its annual low being $173.32. 1.98 million shares have been traded compared to the daily average of 0.995 million shares. The market capitalization of the stock stands at $22.78 billion with P/E of 50.

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