Travel portals and flash sale websites are trying harder to reach penny-pinching travelers.
All of this jockeying for position would seem to make travel deals publisher Travelzoo
Can it survive? Of course. Can it thrive? Have you seen Travelzoo's performance lately? The publisher's been blowing through Wall Street's profit targets over the past year and change, just as social couponing sites gain in popularity and traditional portals aim to appeal to opportunistic bargain hunters.
Smarter competition isn't hurting Travelzoo. If anything, it's drawing more attention to the niche and allowing the site to learn new tricks.
Travelzoo didn't roll out the Groupon-esque Local Deals until just last year, but it's already moving the needle.
A recent study by deal aggregator Yipit Data revealed that the average Travelzoo prepaid offer is outselling the average travel deal through Groupon and LivingSocial. The high-margin nature of these vouchers has helped propel the valuation of the all of its promising players.
Travelzoo's stock has popped more than sixfold since bottoming out last summer, and it now trades for 32 times next year's projected profitability. The key here is that Travelzoo wasn't fetching a forward earnings multiple of six before the move. Analysts have simply had to jack their guesstimates higher with every market-thumping quarter delivered by Travelzoo.
Deals are big business, explaining why Amazon.com
There's big money to be made in getting you to your next getaway cheaply, and Travelzoo is lucky enough to have arrived fashionably early.
Most analysts feel that Groupon's IPO is overvalued. Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of discount sites, and he's already tracking local deals through Groupon and LivingSocial -- as well as Travelzoo. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.