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Subscriber Only Flies High

Amid worries about consumers tightening their wallets, the online travel services’ name-your-own pricing system grows more popular

A weak economy, it is assumed, will cause consumers to cut back on their travel spending. Not if the price is right. Just look at (PCLN), which reported a 62% jump in global bookings in the past year to $1.2 billion, while revenue rose 29% and profits surged 136%.

These fourth quarter results shocked investors, who have sent Priceline's stock 20% higher since the company announced them Feb. 14. On Feb. 19, the shares touched a new 52-week high of 125.73, before settling at 122.61. During the past year, the stock has climbed 138%.