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Another new addition to Greenlight's portfolio in the latest quarter was
Expedia(EXPE - Get Report), the world's largest online travel agent. The hedge fund added one million shares to its portfolio in the most recent quarter, picking up a $33.4 million stake in the firm at last count.
Expedia provides bookings for everything from air travel and hotels to rental cars, cruises, and package tours. Hotels.com, Hotwire, and China's eLong.com are a few of the brands under Expedia's umbrella, in addition to its supremely popular, eponymous site.
When it comes to Expedia, it's all about cost. The former
Microsoft(MSFT) subsidiary was created to find the lowest fares for cost-conscious consumers, and that's remained the case, even as travel became increasingly commoditized thanks to improved computer systems and contractually-guaranteed "lowest fares." In that way, Expedia's first-to-market status in online travel was a major key to its success; the firm will need to keep innovating on network benefits and travel content (like reviews) if it wants to keep its positioning.
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International growth has been a big driver for Expedia in the last few years. Today, international markets make up more than a third of EXPE's total bookings, a big enough chunk to materially reduce the firm's exposure to the cyclical U.S. travel business, but a small enough chunk that it hasn't been overly hurt by a strong dollar.
While shares have doubled in the last year, EXPE could have much further to run in 2012.
Expedia, one of the
10 Best-Performing S&P 500 Stocks in the Second Quarter, also shows up on a recent list of
3 Winning Stocks to Sell for Profits.