It started last Friday. Motley Fool Hidden Gems featured pick (NASDAQ:OSTK) jumped 11.5% to $15.85 after CEO Patrick Byrne appeared on CNBC. Byrne said that Overstock was approaching breakeven and likely wouldn't have to dilute shareholders to raise capital anytime soon.

Good feelings and holiday spirit spilled into Monday and a further small gain to $16.27.

That same night, Overstock came out and reported that Thanksgiving weekend's gross merchandise sales soared 156% year over year to $6.4 million. That news sent Overstock another 25% higher to $20.33 today.

Overstock is benefiting from both a general growth in online retail and a consumer thirst for value. According to Byrne, the company's "Books, Music, and Video department has become a serious force." He also said that the average book price beats Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) by 20% -- back in September, the company moved to price bestsellers at a flat 25% discount to Amazon.

In addition to books, music, and videos, Byrne reports that jewelry and apparel are also doing "exceptionally well," reflecting "the fact the [Overstock] customer base is two-thirds female." Overstock's flat $2.95 shipping rate certainly hasn't hurt.

But talk about volatility. Over the past year, Overstock has treated shareholders to a rollercoaster ride. The stock hit the high teens in February, before falling to the single digits in May. By September, it was back to the upper teens, before jitters over imperfect Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) pendants knocked the shares back.

To his credit, Patrick Byrne's response at the time was nothing less than forthright and worthy of laud.

As yet unprofitable and without much of an operating history, Overstock remains a difficult company to value. But one thing's for certain: Investors who have chosen to ride out the volatility have been well rewarded.

Talk holiday spirit on the discussion board -- only at! Jeff Hwang owns shares of and can be reached at