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Cheap Tickets surges on 2Q earnings

    Shares of Cheap Tickets Inc. (Nasdaq: CTIX) rallied up 7 11/16, or 19 percent, to 47 3/4 Tuesday after the online airline ticket retailer shattered analysts' estimates in its second quarter.

    In the quarter, Cheap Tickets earned $3.2 million, or 15 cents a share, on sales of $102.6 million.

    First Call consensus expected it to earn 8 cents a share in the quarter.

    That $102.6 million in sales represents 131 percent from the $48.2 million it recorded in the year-ago period.

    Phone sales and other revenue accounted for $75.5 million of net revenues in the second quarter this year.

    Cheap Tickets added more than 450,000 registered users, bringing the total to more than $1.2 million.

    Overall gross margin stayed even at 19.1 percent. More than 72 percent of gross bookings came from non-published fares, compared to 65 percent in the year earlier period.

    The stock peaked at 49 5/8 earlier this month after falling to a low of 24 in June.

    Both analysts covering the stock rate it either a "buy" or "strong buy.">