What: With 2016 now halfway in the books, TripAdvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP) stock is down 19% after getting hammered by the broad-market sell-off earlier in the year. As the chart below shows, the stock was down more than 35% in February, and has struggled to recoup those losses even as the S&P 500 hits all-time highs.
So what: The travel review site and its online travel agency peers, Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) and Priceline (NASDAQ:BKNG), tend to fall sharply on concerns about a global economic slowdown. Travel is a discretionary industry and sensitive to macroeconomic trends. As stocks plummeted at the beginning of the year on falling oil prices, a strong dollar, and other issues, TripAdvisor and its elevated valuation got hit particularly hard, falling 22% in January, though there was little company-specific news out.
The stock bounced back on February 11, gaining 12% on a strong fourth-quarter earnings report. Earnings per share increased 29% to $0.45, above estimates at $0.33, though revenue growth slowed to 7%, in part due to currency translation.
Its first-quarter report was not so stellar, however. Revenue actually fell 3% to $352 million, missing expectations at $370 million, while earnings were well below the mark as well.
Now what: TripAdvisor's big push recently has been into an instant booking platform, bringing it into direct competition with Priceline and Expedia, though Priceline agreed to add its listings to the platform.
While a recent decline in click-based advertising is threat, TripAdvisor's long-term business still seems strong. The company occupies a unique space in the online travel industry as the clear leader in reviews, and could make an appealing buyout target for Priceline, which has a history of growing through acquisitions. I'd expect TripAdvisor to bounce back when it reports second-quarter earnings in early August.