Blodget Leaves priceline.com Estimates Unchanged - TheStreet

The dot-com dirge has kept

Merrill Lynch

analyst Henry Blodget busy.

The analyst today issued a report in response to

priceline.com's

(PCLN)

announcement that it was postponing some businesses and eliminating 11% of its work force. While he didn't cut his forecasts, Blodget said he has "limited confidence" in his fourth-quarter and 2001 earnings estimates for the company.

Blodget expects a fourth-quarter loss of 5 cents a share, compared with a loss of 7 cents a share in the same period last year. He's looking for a loss of 12 cents a share for the year and earnings of 12 cents a share in 2001. According to

First Call/Thomson Financial

, 19 analysts produced a consensus earnings estimate of 4 cents a share for 2001.

Blodget maintained his long-term accumulate rating and near-term neutral rating. However, he said the Norwalk, Conn., company "remains overly dependent on airline ticket sales," and added that he doesn't see any "near-term catalyst for the stock until a seasonally stronger" first quarter.

Blodget, who said he is "confident that the company has sufficient cash" and that its "model can eventually work," also stated that priceline.com "is a much smaller business opportunity than we had initially hoped."

Shares of priceline.com recently surged 32.2% to $2.44 in

Nasdaq

trading, but are well below the 52-week high of $104.25.