Priceline Lower on Mixed Earnings, Guidance

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Priceline.com ( PCLN) fell in late trades Wednesday after the online travel reservation company offered up a mixed earnings report and below-consensus guidance.

Despite fears of a slowdown in Europe, the Norwalk, Conn.-based company posted first-quarter non-GAAP earnings of $221 million, or $4.28 a share, on revenue of $1.037 billion in revenue, up 28.2% year-over-year.

The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters was for earnings of $3.95 a share in the March-ended quarter on revenue of $1.043 billion.

Priceline CEO Jeffrey Boyd expects strength in Priceline's international business to continue to help growth as the travel season picks up.

"We believe our international hotel businesses are well positioned for the peak travel season, with over 210,000 hotels at Booking.com and continuing website innovation and new product offerings, including a growing complement of mobile offerings," Boyd said in a statement. "The Group continues its investment in building content for our customers and attractive new offerings to support future growth."

Boyd also highlighted the hotel business, which booked 46 million room nights in the first quarter, up 47% year-over-year.

For the second quarter ending in June, the company forecast non-GAAP earnings of $7.20 to $7.40 a share, surrounding Wall Street's current consensus view for a profit of $7.37 a share.

Priceline sees revenue rising between 18-23% year-over-year in the second quarter with total gross travel bookings increasing 26-31% from last year.

The stock closed Wednesday's regular session at $718.95, up $2.75. In the extended session, the shares were last quoted at $705.82, down 1.8%, on volume of more than 450,000, according to Nasdaq.com.

Year-to-date, Priceline shares were up more than 50% before the after-hours pullback.

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-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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