TripAdvisor (TRIP) is enjoying some stellar performance this year, rallying more than 45% so far in 2012. That's proving to be a pretty good move for endowment funds - endowments picked up nearly 600,000 shares of the online travel site in its late 2011 public offering. That means that these funds are laying claim to all of those gains.
TripAdvisor did something different in its business model -- it opted to become a destination site first and foremost, fuelled by more than 60 million travel reviews posted to its site. Those reviews make TripAdvisor the go-to website for consumers looking for boots-on-the-ground travel opinions on the places they're considering visiting. That niche provides TRIP with a constant stream of potential advertisers who want to offer travel services to the site's 50 million monthly visitors.The decision to split TRIP off from Expedia (EXPE) should end up being beneficial for both firms - it unlocked value for Expedia shareholders late last year, and it should help unlock revenue opportunities for TripAdvisor that wouldn't have come about with Expedia at the helm. With deep margins and brisk sales growth, TRIP should see its finances continue to improve in 2012. While this stock certainly isn't cheap right now, it's got momentum on its side in the second quarter. TripAdvisor, which is also one of Jana Partners' holdings, was featured recently in "5 Stocks Setting Up to Break Out."
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