TripAdvisor (TRIP) Cut to Strong Sell at Zacks Investment Research

TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “TripAdvisor is witnessing secular growth trends in the online travel space. The company's Hotel business is not doing very well. Also, increasing marketing investments continue to be a concern. However, the company’s improvement in user growth and engagement can be accredited to growth initiatives like Meta search & Instant Booking; and strong focus on developing its mobile products. Expansion into the international restaurant reservation space, solid fundamentals and boosting hotel bookings from partnerships are likely to help the company to achieve desired results. On a 12-month basis, the stock has underperformed the Industry to which it belongs to. Macro headwinds, increasing competition and uncertainty regarding the timeline for recovery of investments remain overhangs.”

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Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Barclays reiterated an “equal weight” rating and set a $41.00 price objective (up previously from $35.00) on shares of TripAdvisor in a research note on Friday, February 16th. Piper Jaffray reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $47.00 price objective on shares of TripAdvisor in a research note on Thursday, February 15th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of TripAdvisor from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 16th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of TripAdvisor from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, February 15th. Finally, Wells Fargo reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of TripAdvisor in a research note on Wednesday, February 14th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and nineteen have assigned a hold rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $40.40.

TRIP traded down $2.27 on Wednesday, hitting $39.64. 1,399,709 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,798,060. The firm has a market cap of $5,933.14, a price-to-earnings ratio of 82.58, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.95 and a beta of 1.83. TripAdvisor has a twelve month low of $29.50 and a twelve month high of $50.95. The company has a quick ratio of 2.67, a current ratio of 2.67 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.17.

TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 14th. The travel company reported $0.06 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.14 by ($0.08). The business had revenue of $321.00 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $309.12 million. TripAdvisor had a positive return on equity of 5.63% and a negative net margin of 1.22%. TripAdvisor’s revenue was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.16 EPS. research analysts anticipate that TripAdvisor will post 0.65 earnings per share for the current year.

TripAdvisor declared that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, February 14th that authorizes the company to repurchase $250.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the travel company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, CFO Ernst 02494 Teunissen sold 9,457 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.00, for a total value of $378,280.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 13,866 shares in the company, valued at $554,640. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Dermot Halpin sold 26,313 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.49, for a total transaction of $1,118,039.37. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 1.09% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of TRIP. Technology Crossover Management IX Ltd. bought a new position in shares of TripAdvisor in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $78,603,000. ANTIPODES PARTNERS Ltd acquired a new stake in TripAdvisor during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $61,301,000. CDAM UK Ltd acquired a new stake in TripAdvisor during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $23,443,000. First Trust Advisors LP lifted its stake in TripAdvisor by 32.1% during the fourth quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 2,439,465 shares of the travel company’s stock valued at $84,064,000 after purchasing an additional 592,258 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Allianz Asset Management GmbH lifted its stake in TripAdvisor by 29.2% during the fourth quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 1,816,118 shares of the travel company’s stock valued at $62,584,000 after purchasing an additional 410,818 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.80% of the company’s stock.

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About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor, Inc operates as an online travel company. The company operates in two segments, Hotel and Non-Hotel. Its travel platform aggregates reviews and opinions of members about destinations, accommodations, activities and attractions, and restaurants, which enables users to research and plan their travel experiences, as well as book hotels, flights, cruises, vacation rentals, tours, activities and attractions, and restaurant reservations on its site or mobile app, or on the site or app of travel partner sites.

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