Ctrip.com International, China's homegrown slugger in online travel, is hitting lots of home runs lately. That meant some scoring for investors in its U.S. shares, until a recent downturn.

The Shanghai-based travel firm founded by four Chinese entrepreneurs has recorded double-digit year-over-year per-share profit growth for 11 straight quarters, excluding stock-based compensation charges. Its year-over-year sales have risen at least 46% every quarter since mid-2003. In the second quarter, sales rose 59% to $37.8 million.

Expedia is one of several U.S. online travel players building beachheads in this emerging travel market. Travelocity bought Singapore-based online travel Web site Zuji in January 2006. Priceline.com runs a travel Web site with local Chinese partner Hutchison Whampoa for travelers departing Hong Kong and Singapore. Priceline is said to be eyeing more travel investments in China.

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