RealTime IT News

Priceline's Profit Surprises

Priceline.com gave hope to a listless stock market late Monday with much higher than expected quarterly earnings.

The company's pro forma earnings of 58 cents a share were a whopping 18 cents above analysts' forecasts, according to Thomson Financial. Sales rose 28% to 260 million — nearly 10% higher than anticipated.

Priceline said the results were due to strong business at Booking.com, its European arm, and the company's price-savings approach also attracted customers seeking a break from rising travel costs.

Priceline shares jumped 5% in late trading.

Also after the close, Blue Nile fell on a warning.

Stocks fell during the day, as failed mergers involving Nasdaq and Bristol-Myers and a below-market bid for Four Seasons weighed on stocks, although Vodafone made a successful bid for some of Hutchison's assets and Witness soared 20% on an offer from Verint . Lamson & Sessions gained on news that it will explore its merger options.

Adobe and Apple gained on upgrades.

Digital Music soared 34% on a deal with Google's YouTube, and Webzen climbed on a Chinese online gaming agreement.

Nam Tai fell 7% on its results.

The Nasdaq lost 9 to 2450, the S&P 500 shed 4 to 1433, and the Dow fell 28 to 12,552. Volume fell to 2.36 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.9 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 19-12 on the NYSE, and 17-13 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 64% on the NYSE, and 69% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 125-29 on the NYSE, and 119-56 on the Nasdaq.