Why Priceline.com (PCLN) Is Up In After-Hours Trading

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Priceline.com (PCLN) was gaining 0.4% to $1,287.65 in after-hours trading Thursday after the company reported fourth-quarter results beat analyst estimates.

The company reported earnings of $8.85 a share for the fourth-quarter, beating analysts' estimates of $8.29 a share. Revenue rose to $1.54 billion from $1.9 billion in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected revenue of $1.52 billion.

For the first-quarter, Priceline.com expects earnings of between $6.35 and $6.85 a share, and a revenue increase of 15% to 25%. Analysts expect earnings of $7.21 and revenue growth of 27% in the quarter.

"The Priceline Group finished 2013 with a strong 4th quarter, reporting accelerating hotel, rental car and airline ticket unit growth," president and CEO Darren Huston said in a press release. Room reservations grew by 37% for the year, compared to 40% in 2012, which reflects "only modest deceleration on a large scale business."

Must read: Sizing Up a Priceline Play

TheStreet Ratings team rates PRICELINE.COM INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate PRICELINE.COM INC (PCLN) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, impressive record of earnings per share growth and compelling growth in net income. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook."

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