Travel bookings at
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 --
-- actually saw profit declines.
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.
Copyright 2009 TheStreet.com Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.