Expedia Chief
Expedia Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshani is interviewed at the Reuters Hotels/Casinos Summit in Los Angeles Reuters

Shares of Expedia rose as much as 11 percent Friday before pulling back slightly, to a 10 percent increase on the trading day, after the online travel company posted a strong profit gain, handily beating Wall Street's projections.

Expedia shares were trading up $2.91, or 10.07 percent, to $31.91, not far off a 52-week high of $32.89 in trading Friday. The strong advance made Expedia the top gainer on the S&P 500 Index.

On Thursday after the market close, Expedia reported a second-quarter profit of $140.4 million, or 50 cents a share, compared with a profit of $114.3 million, or 40 cents a share in the same period in the previous year.

Expedia's revenue was $1.02 billion, up from $834 million in the same quarter the previous year. Adjusted income was 55 cents a share.

Analysts had expected the online travel company to report earnings of 49 cents a share, on revenue of $964.5 million.

Jefferies analyst Naved Khan maintained a buy rating on Expedia after the earnings results and stock jump. He said the company's "better than expected" second-quarter results and potential further upside in the second half of 2011 makes Expedia's stock attractive.

Shares of online travel company Priceline advanced on Friday too, largely because of Expedia's strong results. Shares of Priceline were up 3.18 percent on Friday, an increase of $16.62 per share to $539.14.