It's easy for priceline.com
The travel portal came through with another blowout quarter last night. Revenue climbed 28% to $1.04 billion in its latest quarter, and adjusted earnings improved 61% to $221 million -- or $4.28 a share. Analysts nailed the top line, but were once again woefully short on gauging Priceline's earnings power. Wall Street was only holding out for net income of $3.95 a share, but what else is new? The dot-com speedster has blasted past analyst bottom-line estimates for 24 consecutive quarters.
Then again, good things tend to happen when you can boost your gross travel bookings 44%.
Priceline has established itself as the dot-com darling when it comes to online travel. Ctrip.com -- China's top travel website -- doesn't report until next week, but analysts see profitability actually declining on a 23% uptick in revenue.
The comparisons only get easier closer to home.
The results may not seem like much, but both Expedia and Orbitz rallied on the results as the market was bracing for less.
We can extend the universe beyond traditional booking portals. Travel deals publisher Travelzoo
The only reason that Priceline's stock isn't bouncing up to fresh highs today is that the company's guidance points to decelerating growth. The "name your own price" negotiator is looking to earn between $7.20 a share and $7.40 a share during the current quarter on 18% to 23% revenue growth. Analysts were perched at $7.38 a share in earnings on a 26% top-line spurt.
It's OK, Priceline. You're still the teacher's pet of the online travel class.
Pack a passport
A whopping 62% of Priceline's revenues -- and 81% of its gross bookings -- are being generated internationally.
However, Priceline isn't one of the three American companies set to dominate the world revealed in 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.