Priceline.com Inc. rose 5.8 percent in Nasdaq Stock Market trading after RBC Capital Markets predicted the company would top earnings estimates, bolstered by a rebound in hotel stays and European travel.
“Our checks point to healthy and accelerating trends in many of the company’s key European markets, stable search marketing behavior and improving hotel rates,” Ross Sandler, an analyst at RBC in New York, said in a report today. He has an “outperform” rating on the shares, which he doesn’t own.
Priceline, the second-biggest online travel agency, is attempting to gain on rival Expedia Inc. by increasing hotel bookings in the U.S. and abroad. Norwalk, Connecticut-based Priceline also is benefiting from the May acquisition of car- service company TravelJigsaw, which added $43.9 million in gross travel bookings in the second quarter.
Priceline rose $19.80 to $363.50 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq trading. The stock has climbed 66 percent this year, making it the seventh-best-performing company in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.
Brian Ek, a spokesman for Priceline, declined to comment. The company typically reports third-quarter earnings in November.
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