William Shatner has apparently been earning his keep as spokesman for online travel site Priceline.com (PCLN). Shares of the $31 billion stock have rallied more than 35% since the first trading day of January, performance that's around twice as good as the broad market's impressive run. Now the firm's performance looks well suited to continue thanks to a focus overseas that's been earning impressive returns for the Connecticut-based firm.
The U.S. travel market is largely commoditized at this point. It's becoming increasingly common for travel sites to pen "lowest price" guarantees with hotels, a phenomenon that effectively means that it doesn't matter where you buy your next trip; you're probably going to end up paying the same price anyway. But there is a lot more flexibility abroad, particularly in emerging markets in Asia and Latin America. There, consumers are looking for travel outlets that have the biggest inventories of rooms and air carriers, and experienced travel firms like Priceline are well positioned to take advantage as a result.To be sure, the U.S. is still an important battleground for Priceline, mainly because it established itself as a leader back in the early days. While that means that PCLN is unlikely to relinquish its revenues earned here at home, it also means that the firm is unlikely to see its margins expand here either. With plenty of cash on its balance sheet to invest in building its network abroad, PCLN looks well positioned to take advantage of a cyclical low in the travel industry. We're betting on shares of this Rocket Stock this week. Just stay tuned for third quarter earnings on Nov. 5. To see all of this week's Rocket Stocks in action, check out the Rocket Stocks portfolio at Stockpickr. -- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.
Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned. Jonas Elmerraji, based out of Baltimore, is the editor and portfolio manager of the Rhino Stock Report, a free investment advisory that returned 15% in 2008. He is a contributor to numerous financial outlets, including Forbes and Investopedia, and has been featured in Investor's Business Daily, in Consumer's Digest and on MSNBC.com.
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