You can't keep a good portal down. After priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN ) delivered another better-than-expected quarterly report yesterday, its stock soared 14% higher on an otherwise down day.
Revenue grew by 18% to $603.7 million. Pro forma profits clocked in at a whopping $2.02 per share, well ahead of both the $1.55 a share it earned a year ago and the $1.75 a share that Wall Street was expecting.
Analysts have a funny way of missing this quarterly flight. Priceline has now topped guesstimates for 13 consecutive quarters.
Things were smoking on the lodging side, with hotel night bookings rising by a staggering 44%.
Of course, that doesn't mean the hospitality industry is anywhere close to bouncing back. Boutique-hotel operator Morgans (Nasdaq: MHGC ) reported a brutal 37% plunge in revenue per available room on a constant currency basis during its quarterly report last night.
The figures for airline-ticket sales and rental-car days weren't as buoyant, but these areas still cleaned up nicely, with gains of 14% and 15%, respectively.
In short, Priceline is gaining market share.
Lean times are advantageous to sites that are established deal-breakers. Priceline, Travelzoo (Nasdaq: TZOO ) , Expedia's (Nasdaq: EXPE ) Hotwire, and Orbitz Worldwide's (NYSE: OWW ) CheapTickets.com should be thriving right now, even as global travelers have held back on their sojourns.
Don't expect Wall Street to pick up on any of this. Three months later, the only real surprise will be if we're not here discussing Priceline's ability to extend its analyst-humbling streak to 14 quarters.