Why TripAdvisor Inc Stock Bounced Back Today

What happened

After TripAdvisor Inc (NASDAQ: TRIP) shares got shellacked Tuesday over a terrible earnings report, the travel-recommendation service recovered some of its losses as analysts mostly reasserted their optimism in the company's long-term prospects.

The stock was up 6% as of 2:57 p.m. EST.

So what

There was no direct news on the stock, but recoveries like this are common after a big sell-off as shares were down 23.2% on Tuesday. TripAdvisor shares were actually trading down Wednesday morning, falling below $30, but the stock began surging shortly after noon EST as several banks maintained neutral recommendations on the stock. Among them were UBSJPMorgan Chase, and Barclays, which cut its price target to $35, indicating it still sees an upside. Downgrades are common after reports like Tuesday's, but that was not the case here.

The stock may have also benefited from a short squeeze as 18% of the stock is sold short, and some short sellers may have closed out their bets after Tuesday's plunge.

Now what

The bull thesis for TripAdvisor seems all but broken after Tuesday's report. The company's planned pivot to an instant-booking platform in direct competition with leading online travel agencies Priceline and Expedia has fizzled, and revenue growth and earnings have eroded as mobile ads have proven less lucrative than desktop ones. Though its Non-Hotel segment has shown promising growth, the bulk of the company's business still comes from the lagging Hotel segment.

With competition in the industry increasing as marketing spending is disproportionately going up across the board and Priceline is cutting back on referrals to platforms like Trivago and TripAdvisor, things look like they'll get worse for the travel-review site before they get better.

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Jeremy Bowman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Priceline Group and TripAdvisor. The Motley Fool recommends Trivago. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.