What happened

Shares of Ctrip.com (TCOM 4.34%) shed 13% of their value last month, a period during which the S&P 500 experienced a 1.8% uptick, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The drop was in line with the online travel booking specialist's trend over the past six months -- a tough period that has left it down more than 30% in 2018 so far.

A couple checks in to a hotel.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Ctrip's third-quarter report wasn't well received by investors. In it, the China-based search giant revealed a 15% sales increase, thanks mainly to robust growth in the hotel booking segment. That result met expectations, but earnings were another story. Due to rising expenses and a drop in gross profitability, the company booked a loss for the period.

Now what

Nothing in the Q3 report shows a threat to the company's core competitive advantages as the leading travel booking provider in China. And in fact, its outlook for the current quarter calls for sales growth to speed up to between 15% and 20%, despite a softening local travel industry. As for expenses, investors can expect those to continue to weigh down earnings while Ctrip spends aggressively to shore up its market position. "We will continue to work hard to extend the advantages of scale," executives said in early November, "while seizing the opportunities presented by globalization."