Why Ctrip.com International, Ltd. Shares Popped

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 Ctrip.com International, Ltd. (NASDAQ: CTRP  ) jumped more than 10% Thursday after the Chinese travel specialist turned in better-than-expected fourth-quarter results.

So what: Quarterly revenue rose 31% year over year, to $238 million, which translated to adjusted earnings of $0.39 per share. By contrast, analysts were only looking for earnings of $0.23 per share on sales of $226.76 million.

In addition, Ctrip expects current-quarter revenue to continue growing at a year-over-year rate around 25% to 30%, which results in a range of $233.75 million to $243.1 million. Analysts, on average, were looking for first-quarter revenue of $239.75 million.

Now what: CEO James Liang commented, "The investment that Ctrip has made in leisure travel products, price competitiveness, open-platform, and mobile Internet has significantly enhanced our leadership in the online and mobile travel markets."

Mobile indeed. Liang also noted cumulative downloads of Ctrip's mobile app recently reached 100 million, and around 50% and 30% of Ctrip's hotel and air transactions, respectively, are now being booked through mobile during peak days.

Ctrip stock may not look particularly cheap trading around 30 times this year's estimated earnings, but this quarter's numbers were solid no matter how you slice it. As a result, and given the ever-increasing size of its addressable market, I think Ctrip should be able to continue rewarding patient investors going forward.

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