Why Expedia Shares Flew on Friday

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of online travel company Expedia  (NASDAQ: EXPE  ) soared 13% today after its quarterly results easily topped Wall Street expectations.

So what: The stock has rebounded nicely since its late-July beating on improving fundamentals, and today's fourth-quarter results -- earnings per share jumped 46% on a revenue increase of 18% -- only reinforce that turnaround optimism. In fact, Expedia's gross bookings surged 21% and the number of hotel room nights climbed 25%, giving analysts plenty of good vibes over its growth trajectory in 2014.

Now what: Wall Street doesn't expect Expedia's operating momentum to slow anytime soon. "With 3 strong transaction brands including Expedia, Hotels.com and Hotwire, and its additional exposure to Asia through ownership in eLong and a joint venture with Air Asia, Expedia should benefit from an increasing percentage of travel bookings migrating Online," noted Bank America analyst Justin Post. "We expect 8-10% growth in normal travel markets, and we see a 10-18x P/E multiple as reasonable." Of course, with the stock now up about 65% from its 52-week lows, I'd wait for some of the exuberance to fade before betting on that bullish view.

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