Massucci's Take: Priceline's stock travels skyward on strong summer season

This summer, for the first time in five years, I used Priceline.com (PCLN) to book a hotel room and rental car. Turns out, I am part of a trend. The online travel agency saw an increase in bookings over the summer. Now it forecasts sales in the current quarter rising 28 percent from last year's fourth quarter.

The stock closed 18 percent higher Tuesday, rising $30.49 to $202.22, the highest close in nine years. Count Priceline.com among the Internet companies that rallied in 2009. In the past year, Priceline has outperformed Amazon.com (AMZN) shares, which are up 168 percent and shares of Google (GOOG), which has gained 78 percent in the past 12 months. I decided to find out what's going on at the company, which is known for its business model of letting customers name their price for travel services and then seeing what they get at the price.