Priceline.com(R) (Nasdaq: PCLN) today reported that, for the 1st quarter 2002, it had pro forma net income of $5.3 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, compared to a pro forma net loss of $6.2 million, or $0.03 per share for the 1st quarter 2001.
Priceline.com`s 1st quarter 2002 profit was based on revenue of $261.9 million, which was within the Company`s previously stated guidance range for the quarter and down slightly from revenue of $269.7 million in the 1st quarter 2001.
“Priceline.com`s hotel room business continued its impressive growth in the 1st quarter, as room nights sold increased 110 percent over the 1st quarter 2001,” said priceline.com President and Chief Operating Officer Jeffery H. Boyd. “While our airline ticket business remained under pressure from airline fare sales and constrained availability, particularly in the late-March Easter vacation period, solid results in our other travel products, a continued strengthening of our consumer franchise and continued expense discipline resulted in another profitable quarter for priceline.com.”
Gross profit for the 1st quarter 2002 was $42 million, compared to $43.1 million in the 1st quarter 2001. Gross margin for the 1st quarter was 16 percent, the same as a year ago. Priceline.com ended the quarter with $177.8 million in cash and short-term investments, compared to $146.9 million a year ago.
During the 1st quarter 2002, priceline.com sold a combined 2.5 million units of travel products. Priceline.com continued to diversify its revenue streams to non-air businesses, with hotel and rental car unit sales constituting 66 percent of total travel unit sales in the 1st quarter of 2002, up from 49 percent in the 1st quarter 2001.
Priceline.com sold more than 909,000 hotel room nights during the quarter, which is 110 percent higher than a year ago. Today, approximately 17 percent of new priceline.com customers come to the service to make a hotel room offer, compared to 11 percent a year ago. Meanwhile, rental car days sold were more than 738,000 in the 1st quarter, which was 22 percent higher than a year ago.
Priceline.com reported strong customer metrics for the 1st quarter 2002. The Company added nearly 875,000 new customers during the quarter, bringing its total customer base to over 13.5 million. Average monthly visitor traffic to the priceline.com Web site, as measured by Nielsen/Net Ratings, was up 26 percent sequentially and rose every month during the quarter.
“Looking forward, priceline.com is targeting 2nd quarter 2002 revenue of between $320 million and $350 million, and pro forma earnings per share of $0.03 to $0.05,” said Mr. Braddock. “This range is consistent with our expectation that the most significant growth in the quarter will come from our non-air products. On that basis, we remain comfortable with a target for full-year pro forma EPS of $0.12.”
Related stories on ITN:
(08/04/2002) Priceline.com To Hold 1st Quarter Conference Call
(04/02/2002) Priceline.com Reports 4th Quarter