Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN) and its iconic pitchman William Shatner have parted ways, but don’t let that tarnish your opinion of this online travel website. Its “name your own price” model for airfares and hotels is a hit with cash-strapped consumers, and its growth overseas is stunning. Believe it or not, PCLN now offers reservations in about 100 countries and more than 40 languages.
That has allowed for big growth despite the fact that Priceline is competing with Internet travel sites like Expedia.com (NASDAQ:EXPE) and Kayak, among others. Profits almost doubled from fiscal 2010 to 2011, and an additional 25% in growth is forecast for 2012.
Priceline reports earnings May 9, so you might want to get in before the surge. Share prices leaped 7% in one trading day after its last report in February. For those keeping score, that was a move of over $40 in a single day. If that doesn’t prove to you that these stocks can jump around dramatically despite a sky-high price tag, nothing will.
Of course, at more than $700 per share, most retail investors are only going to be able to afford one or two. But considering a 53% return year-to-date, buying a small lot would have been quite a wise investment.