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TripAdvisor Looking to Turn its Business Around

Posted on Thursday, May 31st 2018

According to a Research and Markets report published last year, the global online travel market is estimated to grow 11% annually over the period 2017 through 2023 to become a $1.14 billion industry by 2023. The growth is attributed to improvements in ease of bookings, safer online payment methods, and availability of multiple choices and comparison options. Travel booking giant TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP) recently reported results that beat estimates.

TripAdvisor’s Financials

TripAdvisor recently reported its first quarter results that surpassed market expectations. Revenues for the quarter grew 2% over the year and 18% over the quarter to $378 million, ahead of the analyst estimates of $361 million. Adjusted first quarter earnings of $0.09 per share were also better than the Street’s forecast of $0.05 per share.

By segment, revenues from the hotel segment fell 5% over the year to $299 million. Revenues from the non-hotel segment increased 37% to $79 million.

By source, revenues from Click-based advertising fell 10% over the year to $189 million. Revenues from Display-based advertising increased 9% to $71 million and the other hotel revenue grew 3% to $39 million.

Among operating metrics, user reviews grew 26% to 630 million. Average monthly unique visitors grew 12% to nearly 433 million and average monthly unique hotel shoppers were flat at 149 million.

Based on the solid start to the year 2018, the company now expects to deliver year-over-year consolidated adjusted earnings growth in 2018 and is incrementally positive about its revenue prospects.

The market was pleased with TripAdvisor’s results, and the stock soared nearly 20% post the result announcement.

TripAdvisor’s New Offerings and Acquisitions

Till recently, TripAdvisor has had a rocky performance. The company, which went public in 2013, has seen its stock price sink primarily due to its failure to keep up with changing traveler habits and increasing competition from the likes of Google. The recent results suggest that the company may be slowly making a change for the better.

It recently expanded its monetization capabilities by expanding into the non-hotel business segment, which includes restaurant and event booking. The robust growth reported in this segment in the quarter was attributed to these experiences. The company has been adding more attractions and restaurants as part of this offering. It also recently announced the acquisition of Bokun, a Software-as-a-Service business software for tour operators and experiences that will help it deliver improved traveler experience by adding more inventory. Iceland-based Bokun will help TripAdvisor manage booking, inventory, and tour operations. Bokun was founded in 2012 and is a leading player in Iceland and beyond. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

To drive higher monetization, TripAdvisor also launched sponsored ads on its website. These ads will allow hotel companies and restaurants to get prominent placements on the home pages for a city or region that the viewer is researching. Termed sponsor placement, the ads are doing good business.

The market is pleased with TripAdvisor’s resurgence. Its stock is currently trading at $50.65 with a market capitalization of $6.97 billion. It recently touched a 52-week high of $50.69 and has recovered from the 52-week low of $29.50 that it had fallen to in November last year.

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