Travel bookings at

Priceline.com

(PCLN)

are up -- for now.

But while the company posted an 81% surge in first-quarter earnings, executives say they are hesitant to provide full-year guidance, believing the recession and those nettlesome swine flu fears will hurt travel demand.

Income reached $25 million, or 53 cents a share, compared with $13.8 million, or 28 cents, last year. But minus expenses and other items, the company actually earned $1.09 a share, beating analysts' forecast of 91 cents.

Revenue grew 15% to $462.1 million from $403.2 million. Gross travel bookings climbed 10.5% to $1.9 billion.

For the second quarter, Priceline.com expects earnings in the range of $1.65 to $1.75 per share.

Priceline.com said it gained market share during the quarter, which isn't surprising since its two main competitors --

Expedia

(EXPE) - Get Report

and

Orbitz Worldwide

(OWW)

-- actually saw profit declines.

Last week

Orbitz said it widened its loss in its first quarter, as bookings decreased 17% and writedowns hindered results.

The three companies have been in a heated competition recently to steal market share, removing booking fees and offering steep promotions to entice consumers.

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