Tripadvisor Inc (TRIP) Buys Tripbod Ahead Of Q1 Earnings

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Tripadvisor Inc (TRIP) Buys Tripbod Ahead Of Q1 Earnings

Tripadvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP) is scheduled to report its first quarter results at 4:30 PM EDT on Tuesday, May 6. Ahead of its results, the Newton-based company has purchased two businesses in less than a week. Tripadvisor announced Monday that it has acquired London-based Tripbod. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Tripbod helps travelers connect with local experts. Tripbod employees will now operate out of Tripadvisor’s London office.

Tripadvisor earnings expected to return to growth

Notably, that deal follows the acquisition of Vacation Home Rentals on May 1. The Massachusetts-based vacation rentals website lists more than 14,000 rental properties worldwide. Tripadvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP) said yesterday that the Tripbod website will remain live through the transition period. These acquisitions signal Tripadvisor’s evolution away from its core hotel reviews business. The company has already launched Meta search. Tripadvisor CEO Steve Kaufer is now targeting mobile destination services.

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Wall Street expects Tripadvisor to return to growth in the March quarter after two consecutive quarters of EPS declines. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company’s Q1 earnings to jump 10% YoY to 55 cents. Tripadvisor’s EPS had plunged 28% to 21 cents in Q4, and 2% to 45 cents in the third quarter of 2013. The travel review company’s sales are expected to soar 23% to $282.9 million from $229.9 million in the same period last year.

Tripadvisor focused on mobile booking

Ascendiant Capital Markets analyst Edward Woo said in a research note that global travel growth was strong in the first quarter. Woo has a Buy rating on Tripadvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP). According to the to International Air Transport Association, worldwide air travel was up 8% YoY in January, and 5.4% in February. For this year, mobile booking will be the company’s focus. Tripadvisor will let users do the booking without leaving its platform, improving the user experience. That should also boost revenue for Tripadvisor and conversion rates for advertisers.

In an attempt to further leverage its growing mobile user base, Tripadvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP) has signed a deal with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) to pre-install its app on the Korean company’s smartphones. The company plans to enter 8 new geographies in 2014.

Tripadvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP) shares gained 0.33% to $84.99 in pre-market trading Tuesday.

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