Why TripAdvisor Inc. Shares Took Off

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 TripAdvisor Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP  ) were flying higher today, gaining as much as 11% and finishing up 7% after delivering strong fourth-quarter earnings results. 

So what: The travel-recommendation site posted top-line growth of 26% to $212.7 million, while analysts had expected just $205.6 million. Adjusted earnings matched expectations at $0.21 as profits fell from a year ago while the company works to integrate recent acquisitions and transitions to a metasearch business model, which aggregates search results from other websites. CEO Steve Kaufer said the site attracted more than 2 billion unique visitors in 2013 as total traffic grew 50% in the last quarter.

Now what: Growth was solid across the board for TripAdvisor as the company made meaningful gains in click-based advertising, display advertising, and subscriptions. The company's multifaceted business model also makes it a surer bet compared to online rivals including Yelp by giving it numerous profitable revenue streams. The travel dealer did not provide guidance in its earnings release, but it seems to be making all the right moves to ensure further growth and increased market power in its niche of the travel world. Shares are high-priced, but I expect management to follow through on that promise. 

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