Expedia Shares Climb on Growth Potential

(AP) —

Shares of Expedia Inc. rose 5 percent on Monday, after a UBS analyst said that the online travel company is on the track for long-term growth.

THE SPARK: Analyst Eric Sheridan kept his “Buy” investment rating on Expedia’s stock, and increased its price target to $74 from $70.

THE BACKGROUND: Expedia has made a number of partnerships in the past two years to increase growth. Last year, it teamed up with online travel service eLong Inc. to expand into China. In March, it bought a majority stake in German hotel-search site Trivago for about $632 million. And in August, it partnered with rival Travelocity, giving it access to more customers.

Expedia Inc., based in Bellevue, Wash., runs Hotels.com and Hotwire.com in addition to its namesake website.

ANALYSIS: Sheridan said that growth in the online travel industry will be driven outside the U.S. “Expedia’s strength has traditionally been in the U.S.,” Sheridan said in a note to clients, “however the company has become increasingly international over the past few years.”

SHARE ACTION: Up $3.15, or 5 percent, to $65.88 on Monday. Its shares had been up about 2 percent this year.

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