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Why TripAdvisor Inc. Might Keep Flying

By Brian D. Pacampara, CFA - Feb 12, 2014 at 2:09PM

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Does this analyst make a good case? Or is it just more noise from Wall Street?

While Fools should generally take the opinion of Wall Street with a grain of salt, it's not a bad idea to take a closer look at particularly stock-shaking upgrades and downgrades -- just in case their reasoning behind the call makes sense.

What: Shares of TripAdvisor (TRIP 2.71%) soared 10% this today after market-topping fourth-quarter results prompted an upgrade -- sector perform to outperform -- from RBC Capital Markets.

So what: Along with the upgrade, analyst Mark Mahaney boosted his price target to $95 (from $68), representing about 13% worth of upside to yesterday's close. While contrarians might be turned off by the stock's sharp rebound in recent weeks, Mahaney thinks there might be more room to bounce given TripAdvisor's strong outlook for 2014.

Now what: RBC raised both its 2014 revenue and EBITDA outlook for TripAdvisor by 4%. In fact, Mahanay cited several key signs from the quarter, such as an accelerating top line, better than expected meta results, and an increasingly diverse revenue base as reasons to be positive over the company's growth trajectory. Of course, with the stock now up more than 120% from its 52-week lows and trading at a 30-plus forward P/E, Fools might want for some of the excitement to fade before betting too big on those trends to continue.

Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends TripAdvisor. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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