Popular travel website Priceline.com, which helps users get discounts on everything from hotels to airfare, has some good news about their first quarter. The company announced today that its year-over-year increase in the first quarter shows that people are traveling again. Worldwide bookings through the company are creating an increase in earnings and revenue, however, the company isn't too optimistic about the second quarter.
Political unrest and natural disasters are expected to put a damper on travel plans for many people, who plan to travel outside of the United States in the near future. This news caused Priceline stocks to fall.
The company says it earned $53.9 million, nearly doubling its 2009 earnings. Last year, during the same quarter, they company earned $25 million. Analysts predicted the company's profit to be about $1.66 per share, but Priceline announced $1.70 per share.
According to Priceline, the biggest increases came in the form of making hotel room reservations and international bookings. Total travel bookings through the company's websites equaled about $3 billion in the first quarter, which is up from about $1.9 billion in 2009's first quarter.
So, what about the second quarter. The volcanic activity in Iceland, civil unrest in Thailand, and the fall of the value of the euro due to debt concerns in Europe are just a few of the reasons why Priceline isn't optimistic. But even so, summer is approaching and people are continuing to book hotels for their upcoming vacations.