William Shatner has beamed the Priceline stock towards $1,000 after the company reported strong Q2 earnings. Priceline practiced a new financial maneuver by avoiding stock splits for encouraging speculation.
According to spokesperson, Leslie Cafferty, the company was formed in 1997 and kicked off its advertising campaign in 1998 when it opened its travel booking website.
Timing was good for Priceline: it went public on March 31, 1999, during the height of the dot-com boom, at an equivalent price of $96 a share (adjusted for a six to one reverse stock split). The name-your-own price travel retailer’s stock soared. A month later, on April 30, the stock price had more than a 1,000% return, trading at $974.37 a share, and had a market value of $23.1 billion.
By October 9, 2002, however, the mighty had fallen. In the aftermath of 9/11, Priceline’s stock fell from nearly $1,000 to only $6.60 a share, while its market value shrunk from $24.1 billion to $0.25 billion. In fact, 9/11 hurt Internet travel companies far more than any sector. Things seemed every bit as hopeless as the USS Enterprise being sucked into a black hole, and even with Star Trek actor William Shatner at the helm of its quirky advertising campaign, Priceline seemed destined for the same demise as the entire dot-com fleet.
Nevertheless, Priceline had a couple of things most dot comers didn’t have — revenue and a small profit. The company remained in the black hole for many years. It showed some signs of escaping in 2007 and early 2008, only to be knocked down again by the financial crisis.
Then, beginning in 2009, Priceline quietly and steadily soared back, reaching its all-time high on Friday. The company’s net income in the second quarter of 2013 alone was $437 million, about 1.75 times the total company valuation at its low in 2002.
William Shatner knew a good thing when he saw it, reportedly taking all of his acting fees as stock, rather than cash.