Last up on this week's list of Rocket Stocks is
(PCLN - Get Report)
, the $31 billion travel site. Priceline has made a stellar run so far this year, rallying more than 31% since the first trading day of 2012. While that's down from the initial run that this stock showed off into May, PCLN looks like it's consolidating for a second leg higher in the fourth quarter of 2012.
Priceline has its sights set overseas -- and that's a very good thing. 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. In the meantime, Priceline's strong brand recognition and current share of the market here at home should continue to pad its profitability in spite of margin squeeze -- those margins have a lot of room to squeeze before PCLN has to worry.
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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.