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Expedia hurdles 1Q forecasts

    Expedia (Nasdaq: EXPE) easily bested the consensus expectation in the first quarter.

    After market close Monday, the online provider of travel services reported a fiscal first quarter loss of $1.6 million, or 4 cents per share, excluding special charges. First Call's survey of seven analysts predicted a loss of 26 cents per share for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

    Shares of Expedia rose to 11 in afterhours activity on the Island electronic communications network, immediately following the release of quarterly results. Expedia stock closed Monday's regular trading down 1.1875 to 9, prior to the third quarter report.

    Although Expedia reduced its losses per share by 87 percent in the September quarter, don't expect Expedia to become profitable just yet. The company expects operations to report higher losses in the December quarter because of increased sales and marketing.

    Including $15.5 million in amortization and $13.6 million in charges related to stock compensation, Expedia lost $30.8 million, or 69 cents per share.

    First quarter revenue increased 115 percent year-over-year to $76.5 million. Merchant revenues rose to $47 million, a 136 percent gain. Revenues from commissions and fees gained 115 percent to $22 million.

    Travel bookings in the first quarter totaled $467 million, a 108 percent gain from the comparable period a year ago.

    Cash and marketable securities more than doubled to $122.3 million from $60.7 million at the end of June, largely thanks to a $60 million investment from Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Technology Crossover Ventures.>