What happened

Shares of online travel-booking specialist TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP) outpaced the market last month, gaining 23% compared to a 1.8% increase in the S&P 500, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The surge upward added to a significant rally for the stock this year, which is up over 80% versus a 1% uptick in the broader market.

A couple checks in to a hotel.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Investors were happy with TripAdvisor's third-quarter earnings report, which showed progress in its rebound plan. Sales declines moderated in its core hotel-booking segment even as profitability spiked in that division. Its non-hotel division, which includes bookings for attractions and restaurants, grew at a healthy pace and is now approaching one-third of its broader business.

Now what

CEO Steve Kaufer and his team raised their 2018 outlook in early November and they now predict that the hotel business will return to growth in Q4 following several consecutive quarters of declines. The overall profit picture is brightening, too, thanks to its lower cost base and more restrained spending. If TripAdvisor can keep pairing improving growth trends with increasing margins, then the stock's rally could continue into 2019.

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