Expedia Inc.: Standard & Poor's equity analyst Scott Kessler reiterated a buy rating on shares of online travel agency Expedia Inc. (EXPE) on June 14.
On June 14, the company's TripAdvisor unit announced the launch of its TripAdvisor Trip Friends feature, which allows travelers to get advice from their Facebook friends on TripAdvisor to help plan vacations.
In a posting on the S&P MarketScope service, Kessler noted that Trip Friends will leverage the popular Cities I've Visited application on Facebook.
"TripAdvisor is already a market-leading brand and business, with more than 34 million monthly visitors," Kessler wrote. The news about Trip Friends "underscores the value of TripAdvisor, which in 2009 generated $352 million in revenues, 18 percent growth and strong profitability in our view," he said.
Kessler said he thinks TripAdvisor could be worth about one-third of Expedia's market value, or approximately $2 billion.
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