Priceline Jumps as HP Slumps

HP (NYSE: HPQ) shares fell in after-hours trading Wednesday after its quarterly sales came in $3 billion below forecasts, but Priceline (NASDAQ: PCLN) showed that it may have a business model for the worst economy in decades.

HP shares lost 4% after hours after the company met earnings estimates but posted sales that were up just 1% to $28.8 billion, $3.1 billion below the Thomson Reuters forecast. HP said its current quarter results will also come in below estimates.

But Priceline shares soared 12% in late trading after the company posted results and guidance that blew past analysts’ estimates. Priceline CEO Jeffery Boyd cited market share gains, strength in the company’s business and the appeal of the company’s Name Your Own Price service in a tough economy.

“Worldwide recessionary conditions have resulted in lower overall travel demand and we have seen hotels significantly reduce their average daily rates in response to declining hotel occupancy rates,” Boyd said in a statement.

The broader market finished the day little changed as traders digested a lowered growth outlook from the Federal Reserve and a $75 billion plan by the Obama administration to halt foreclosures.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) rebounded from a downgrade on Tuesday with a 3% gain.

Palm (NASDAQ: PALM) fell 7% on a UBS downgrade, and Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) lost 5.7%.

Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) lost 4% on its results, while Seagate (NASDAQ: STX) gained 3.7% on reports of insider buying.

AMD (NYSE: AMD) fell 7% to $2.20 a share on worries about demand.

The Nasdaq lost 2 to 1467, the S&P 500 slipped a point to 788, and the Dow tacked on 3 to 7555. Volume declined to 6.71 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.1 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a 27-10 margin on the NYSE, and 17-9 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 65% on the NYSE, and 53% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 14-390 on the NYSE, and 8-271 on the Nasdaq.

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