Dueling Fools

Dueling Fools
July 21, 1999

What's My Priceline?
Priceline.com Price (7/20/99): $91 9/16

In April of 1998, Priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN) revolutionized the way Internet users could buy airline tickets. An online shopper would submit the price that she wanted to pay -- and if the company found an airline with the available capacity and willingness to sell the seat at that bid, the cybersurfer was airborne.

Since then the company has widened its offerings. After going public four months ago it has also brought in both bulls and bears. That's what we find here today. Paul Larson (TMF Parlay) thinks the Priceline is Right. Rick Munarriz (TMF Edible) thinks investors should hang up the Priceline.

Who is most convincing? You will get to decide. After you're done, check out our Texas Instruments Duel Flashback where we find out who won the duel deep in the heart of Texas -- Instruments.

You Get to Vote!

Once you've read the arguments and the rebuttals, it's your time to cast your vote. We'll tabulate results each week and revisit them from time to time to see whether you were right! As always, we invite you to join us in the Dueling Fools Message board to continue the duel.

[Any suggestions, comments, praise, or flames, please send them along to the Dueling Fools Team.]

The Bull...
What is Priceline? The company is best known for the "name your price" airline tickets, but Priceline now sells hotel rooms, cars, and home mortgages through its system.Whatever way you describe what Priceline does, the company has meshed a new (and patented) operating model with information technology to create a business that is going to be a dominant force over the next several years.
The Bear...
Trailing revenues are less than $200 million. And, to clarify things, these are merchandise sales where the gross profit shrunk to just 9.4% for the June quarter. What I'm saying is that 91 pennies of every dollar are going back to pay for the products the company is pushing. With overhead beyond that eating up another 24 pennies I think you get the picture. That buck becomes an IOU.

Results for last week's Blue Chips vs. Small Caps Duel

Answer Percentage
I can't make up my mind


TMF Max's Blue Chips argument


TMF Gump's Small Caps argument


They were both excellent


They were both lame