TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP), operator of a travel-research website, surged to a record high amid anticipation that a bidding war for display advertising will bolster sales growth.
The shares rose less than 1 percent to $51.03 at the close in New York for the highest price since they began trading in 2011. The shares have risen 22 percent this year, compared with an 8.8 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
TripAdvisor’s website, a repository for user-generated reviews of hotels and other travel businesses, helps consumers search for the best deals available from online travel agencies. As Priceline.com Inc. (PCLN), the biggest Internet travel site by market value, and its smaller rival Expedia Inc. (EXPE) compete for bookings, they’re spending more for display ads on TripAdvisor, said Tom White, an analyst at Macquarie Capital USA Inc. in New York.
“As long as the big online travel agencies are competing with each other and spending money it’s good for TripAdvisor,” White said in an interview today. “They think about TripAdvisor like they think about search.”
TripAdvisor’s sales will probably increase 23 percent to $935.2 million this year, according to the average of analysts’s estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Most of the Newton, Massachusetts-based company’s revenue comes from advertising, White said.
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