The world is an exciting place for priceline.com (NAS: PCLN) shareholders.
The travel portal continues to check in with impressive growth, fueled largely by its international operations that now account for 79% of the dot-com's gross bookings.
Revenue climbed 45% to $1.5 billion in its latest quarter, and adjusted earnings improved 88% to $9.95 a share. Analysts that have historically underestimated Priceline's potential were only expecting a tweaked profit of $9.30 a share on $1.4 billion in revenue.
Good luck finding growth like that at conventional rivals Expedia (NAS: EXPE) and Orbitz Worldwide (NYS: OWW) . Even overseas specialist Ctrip.com (NAS: CTRP) in China isn't growing at that clip. Travel deals publisher Travelzoo (NAS: TZOO) -- a speedster relative to traditional portals lately -- only grew its top line by 40% in its latest quarter.
Worrywarts will point to Priceline's guidance for the current quarter. It's targeting an adjusted profit per share between $4.90 and $5.00 on 27% to 32% in revenue growth. Analysts were forecasting non-GAAP earnings of $5.14 a share on a 36% top-line gain. However, Priceline has proven that it loves to bait Wall Street for sport.
Its third-quarter guidance three months ago called for no more than $9.30 a share in adjusted net income on 37% to 42% in revenue growth. The pros perched themselves at the high end of the Internet giant's outlook, only to be humiliated last night.
Given the way that the global economy teetered toward the end of the quarter, it's not as if we can assume that the quarter's strength surprised Priceline. It knew all along what it was doing -- and it's doing the same thing now.
Well played, Priceline.
If you want to stay on top of the travel websites, track the latest developments through MyWatchlist.
AddTravelzooto My Watchlist.
Addpriceline.comto My Watchlist.
AddOrbitz Worldwideto My Watchlist.
AddMakeMyTripto My Watchlist.
AddExpediato My Watchlist.
AddCtrip.com Internationalto My Watchlist.
At the time thisarticle was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Ctrip.com International.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Priceline, Ctrip.com International, and Travelzoo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story, except for Travelzoo. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.
Copyright © 1995 - 2011 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.