Overrunning the runway is becoming all too common for Priceline.com (Nasdaq: PCLN).

The "Name Your Own Price" company has once again landed ahead of Wall Street's prognosticators, topping the market's expectations for seven consecutive quarters.

Last night's fourth-quarter report was another winner. Revenues climbed 29% higher to $334.9 million, with pro forma profitability clocking in at $0.96 a share (66% higher than last year's showing). Analysts were looking for earnings of $0.84 a share on just $329.3 million in revenue.

Priceline is hitting on all cylinders, with gross bookings soaring 62% higher during the period. International bookings growth has accelerated on a year-over-year basis for three straight quarters, and that's before accounting for favorable foreign exchange rates and the recent acquisition of Asian hotel reservation site Agoda.com.

The company is gaining traffic with its gutsy call to eradicate booking fees on flights, a move that is no doubt infuriating to travel agents and rival online portals such as Expedia (Nasdaq: EXPE), Travelocity, and Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW).

Priceline is clearly at the head of the class among travel sites. Even discount carriers such as JetBlue (Nasdaq: JBLU) have warmed to having flights booked through Priceline.

The company's success is also not the norm. Travel publisher Travelzoo (Nasdaq: TZOO) has an entirely different model but the company has missed Wall Street's profit estimates for five consecutive quarters now.

Priceline isn't just topping expectations. It's obliterating them.




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Yes, it's refreshing to see any company routinely beat the pros by double-digit percentage margins. It's even more impressive to see these results coming within a very competitive sector.

The future is only going to get better. Priceline is guiding pro forma profitability in 2008 to come in between $4.80 a share and $5.10 a share.

Keep running analysts. Maybe one day you'll finally catch up the company that you've done a poor job of chasing after over the past two years.

Prepare for landing with more Foolishness:

Priceline.com and JetBlue are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. You can take off with a free 30-day trial subscription.   

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz still relies on the portals for basic travel information, but then he runs off to look for better deals from the provider. He does not own shares in any companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.