Priceline has done all that. Last night it posted another healthy quarter, accentuating its dot-com bubble survivor badge by turning a profit during a dozen of the past 14 quarters. It also continues to make headway in traditional retail travel services for those who want to book a trip without having to jump through the "name your own price" hoops.
The travel specialist has also managed to cheat the reverse stock split jinx, which often finds companies that resort to reverse splits to prop up their share price (as Priceline did last year) fading away. Priceline is still doing just fine after growing its gross travel bookings by 44% over the past year to hit $432 million in its September quarter.
The online travel sector may be a great place to visit, but would you want to live there? There has been a great deal of consolidation in the online travel sites. Over the past year and a half, Priceline has scooped up TravelWeb, Active Hotels, RentalCars.com, and Breezenet.com. Market leader ownership has also shuffled in recent years as InterActiveCorp
Priceline is looking to earn between $0.68 and $0.72 a share this year. That figure inches higher if you go by the company's pro forma figures. The stock dipped, as analysts were holding out for a more robust revenue showing, but does that make it time to name your own price for the stock? Even at its lowest guidance, a company trading for less than 30 times earnings yet growing at a healthy clip is a bargain. In Trekspeak, it's one sturdy-looking Enterprise.
Which travel sites do you turn to when you need to book a trip? Where have you found the best rates? All this and more -- in the Cheap Air Fares discussion board. Only on Fool.com.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz loves to travel and has been booking his travel online since the 1990s. He has a favorable outlook on the industry, but he does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story.