Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Catch if You Can

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

The way that (Nasdaq: PCLN  ) keeps ascending, it's a wonder if it will ever land.

The travel portal came through with another blowout quarter last night. Revenue climbed 36% to $991 million in its latest quarter, and adjusted earnings improved 58% to $5.37 a share. Once again, profitability is growing faster than Priceline's top-line spurt. A scalable model is no match for travel service providers hoping to slash commissions.

Analysts have once again landed in the wrong place. Wall Street's pros were only expecting a tweaked profit of $5.05 a share on $968 million in revenue.

Priceline's growth has been impressive. One certainly doesn't expect a company scoring nearly $21.7 billion in gross bookings for all of 2011 to keep growing at a heady clip. (Nasdaq: CTRP  ) -- China's top travel website -- grew its revenue by just 18% during the same three months. Yes, the company that was growing at a faster rate than Priceline is now growing at half the latter's pace.

Is Priceline the niche's speedster? Pitting Priceline against conventional rivals Expedia and Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW  ) certainly makes it seem that way.

Orbitz, scoring just half of Priceline's gross bookings, actually suffered a 3% decline in net revenue during the same quarter. Expedia -- which is larger than Priceline given its $29.2 billion in gross bookings last year -- grew its revenue by a reasonable 14% in the fourth quarter.

Even if we open up the floor to travel deals publisher Travelzoo (Nasdaq: TZOO  ) , Priceline is still the speedy one. Travelzoo's revenue climbed 23% in its latest quarter, meeting Priceline just two-thirds of the way there.

The only significant publicly traded travel website that can outrun Priceline in terms of percentage growth spurts is India's MakeMyTrip (Nasdaq: MMYT  ) , but it's surprisingly close. The top travel website in the world's second-most populous nation grew its revenue -- after service costs -- by less than 37%. MakeMyTrip is so small and early in its growth cycle that it would take Priceline just four days to generate the gross bookings that MakeMyTrip is securing in an entire quarter. Even then, Priceline's growth on a percentage basis keeps things interesting.

Priceline's growth will decelerate. Last night's guidance calls for an adjusted profit of $3.80 a share to $3.90 a share on 22% to 27% in top-line growth. However, the midpoint of Priceline's outlook is in line with the 25% growth that Wall Street is expecting, and well ahead of the $3.72 a share in adjusted profitability targeted for the period.

Pack a passport
A whopping 62% of Priceline's revenue and 79% of its gross bookings are being generated internationally.

However, Priceline isn't one of the three American companies set to dominate the world according to a recent research report. Find out what the three companies are in the free report. It won't be around forever, so check it out now.  

The Motley Fool owns shares of International. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of International, Priceline, and Travelzoo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Travelzoo. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (2)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 28, 2012, at 10:26 AM, griderX wrote:

    As a loyal Priceline customer for about 6+ years booking (Hotels and Car rentals) I missed the boat on buying the stock ;( Should have paid more attention...haha

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 1794910, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/26/2016 7:28:38 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 10 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,169.27 -53.76 -0.30%
S&P 500 2,143.16 -8.17 -0.38%
NASD 5,283.40 -26.43 -0.50%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/25/2016 4:00 PM
PCLN $1479.03 Up +7.23 +0.49%
Priceline Group CAPS Rating: ****
CTRP $48.00 Down -0.20 -0.41% Internat… CAPS Rating: ****
MMYT $28.40 Down -0.15 -0.53%
MakeMyTrip CAPS Rating: *
OWW.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Orbitz Worldwide CAPS Rating: *
TZOO $12.10 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Travelzoo CAPS Rating: **