Expedia nears profit

Online travel agency Expedia Inc. last week announced that it will show its first operating profit when it reports financial results for this year's first quarter, though acquisition costs will leave it in the red.

The Bellevue, Wash.-based company expects to report revenue of US$110 million for the quarter, a 39 percent increase over the $80 million it earned in last year's fourth quarter. Expedia predicted it would earn 9 cents per share before previous noncash items are figured into the equation. However, because of its acquisitions of Web sites such as Las Vegas-based Travelscape.com, Expedia said it will post an overall loss of $18 million, or 37 cents per share.

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