NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Priceline.com (PCLN) surged in after-hours action on Wednesday after the online travel company rode a huge jump in bookings to a better than expected quarterly profit.
The Norwalk, Conn.-based company, which cited growth in its hotel business and success in new markets in the Asia-Pacific and South America regions for its strong results, also offered up a bullish outlook for its current quarter.
The stock was last quoted at $443.42, up 4.1%, on volume of roughly 640,000, according to Nasdaq.com. Based on a regular session close at $425.99, the shares were up more than 90% in the past year, hitting a 52-week high of $464.47 on Feb. 15.
For the three months ended Dec. 31, Priceline.com reported an adjusted profit of $175 million, or $3.40 a share, on revenue of $731.3 million, up 25% year-over-year. The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for earnings of $3.09 a share on revenue of $734.9 million in the quarter.The company said gross travel bookings, which reflects total dollar value including taxes and fees of travel services purchased by its customers, jumped 44.2% to $3.26 billion in the quarter. Priceline.com sees more of the same in the current quarter, forecasting adjusted earnings of $2.34 to $2.44 a share with total gross bookings projected to rise 45-50% and revenue pegged to increase 29-34%. Wall Street's current consensus estimate for the company's fiscal first quarter is for a profit of $2.30 a share.
AXTAXT (AXTI) was another big mover late Wednesday, losing ground after the Fremont. Calif.-based maker of semiconductor materials disappointed Wall Street with its quarterly results and outlook. The company said it earned $4.9 million, or 15 cents a share, for the three months ended Dec. 31 on revenue of $26.9 million, shy of the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for a profit of 16 cents a share on revenue of $28.9 million. While we are experiencing some near-term softness in the Taiwanese LED market and expect seasonality in our first quarter semi-insulating gallium arsenide revenues," said Morris Young, the company's CEO, in a statement, "we believe that we will see sequential growth in our business beginning again in the second quarter, driven by positive secular trends in the demand for wireless devices, LEDs and photovoltaics, as well as gains in our positioning within various customers in our market." For its first quarter ending in March, AXT forecast earnings of 11 to 13 cents a share on revenue ranging from $24 million to $25 million, below Wall Street's current consensus view for earnings of 14 cents a share on revenue of $27.4 million. The stock fell 8.5% to $7.65 on volume of around 130,000 in late trades. Based on its regular session close at $8.36, the shares had risen 157% in the past year, peaking at $12.23 on Feb. 7.
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