1:15pm (EST)

Priceline.com (PCLN, $205.11, up $31.38) is up 18% today after releasing third quarter earnings that easily beat Wall Street’s estimates by a wide margin.

The company reported earnings of $3.45 per share which was 55 cents ahead of projections.  Revenue came in at $731 million, ahead of the estimates of $694 million.

Here is what the CEO had to say in the conference call:

“Despite a difficult economic environment, the summer travel season turned out to be an exceptionally strong one for Priceline.com, as 3rd quarter growth rates accelerated sequentially for our international and domestic businesses.”

We had a pretty good feeling the company would smash earnings and as you would imagine, analysts are upgrading shares today.  Kaufman Brothers reiterated the stock as a  ‘Focus List Pick’ and increased its Price Target from $200 to $240.

At current prices, that equates to a 20% gain but it would cost you $200,000 to buy a thousand shares.  We went the easier route and played the call options for better gains…

Sorry for the short commentary today but we are busy finding new trades.  We think we have one picked out for Wednesday but we are still researching it.

As we head to press, the Dow is down 10 points to 10,216…