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Markets & Finance Hikes Third Quarter Outlook (PCLN) on Sept. 21 hiked its earnings outlook for the third quarter, after the Norwalk, Conn.-based online travel services provider had more growth in Europe.

The company now expects third quarter 2006 net income per diluted share between 33 cents and 37 cents. On Aug. 7, had forecast net income per diluted share between 29 cents to 34 cents during the quarter.

" continues to experience solid business momentum, particularly in Europe, where quarter-to-date gross travel bookings growth continues to exceed 100%," said President and Chief Executive Officer Jeffery H. Boyd, in a press release.

His company also plans to raise $300 million by selling convertible senior notes through a private offering to institutional buyers. will then use that money to buy back shares and existing debts.

Investors bid up's shares by 5.9% to $33.45 per share in early trading.

Standard & Poor's Corp. hiked its 2006 earnings per share estimate by 3 cents to $1.49 after the news, but maintained a hold rating and 12-month target price of $39 on the stock. (S&P, like, is owned by The McGraw-Hill Companies.)

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