Priceline: The Craziest Stock Chart I've Ever Seen

Priceline (PCLN) began operating their Priceline.com website in 1997 and IPO'd on March 31, 1999, at the height of the dot com bubble at $96/share.  One month later, on April 30, PCLN stock sold for $974.  That was good for a 1,000% gain in a month. Not bad.

Then came the stock market crash and PCLN stock went into a complete free-fall for years and by October 9, 2002, PCLN was valued at $6/share.  That is not a typo, PCLN lost 99.4% of its value.  From that absurd level, PCLN began a gradual ascent and by 2006 was trading for around $25/share, good for a quadruple off the lows.  

By 2007, PCLN was over $50 and headed to heights absolutely no one would have believed at the time.  In 2013, PCLN was being recognized as the world's leading Online Travel Agent and hit $1,000/share.  Earlier this year PCLN soared above $2,000/share for a brief time.

A $25,000 investment in PCLN near the lows would now be worth $8 million.  If you had somehow bought under $10/share imagine how hard it would have been to not sell as PCLN doubled, tripled, quadrupled, went up 10x and so on.  

The main lesson I take from this chart is to be extraordinarily careful hitting the sell button.  It is - by far - the biggest regret investors have...ohhh, if I had just held on to that stock.  One of my core beliefs about the stock market is if you buy a basket of good companies with a bright future at a reasonable price, things will usually work out well if you sit on your hands after you buy.    It only takes one or two Pricelines in your portfolio to provide you with extraordinary returns.  

Disclosure:  I and Clients own Priceline stock.

 

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