Expedia posted a quarterly profit that handily beat Wall Street forecasts - pushing up its shares in regular and extended trading.

Expedia - which operates more than a dozen travel-booking sites, including Expedia.com, Hotels.com and Hotwire.com - said its second-quarter profit rose 30 percent to $95.4 million, or 27 cents per share, as it sold more hotel rooms for the quarter.

Worldwide merchant hotel revenue rose 17 percent — the highest rate of growth since the fourth quarter of 2004 - driven mostly by an increase in the number of room nights stayed by customers.

As a wholesaler or merchant of hotel rooms, Expedia has the ability to set its own sales prices and, hence, control its profit margins, making this a highly profitable part of its business.

Revenue, meanwhile, rose 7.83 percent to $598.5 million.

The company's adjusted net income, which excludes certain noncash expenses, came in at 32 cents. Analysts polled by Thompson Financial had forecast income of 24 cents on revenue of $576.9 million.

Chairman Barry Diller had told analysts in May to expect a rough year for Expedia, after the company's branding campaign, "Enjoy Your Trip" didn't draw enough shoppers to its flagship site during the quarter.

Hotels and airlines have become more aggressive competitors by enticing customers to book travel directly on their sites and by offering lower commissions to third-party travel agencies.

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