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TripAdvisor Reportedly May Have Received Inquiry From Buyer

TripAdvisor shares rose after Gordon Haskett analysts said the online travel agency may have been approached by a buyer.
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TripAdvisor  (TRIP) - Get Report shares rose Monday, after Gordon Haskett analysts said the online travel agency may have been approached by a buyer.

The evidence: TripAdvisor’s lack of action after issuing $300 million of convertible notes, the analysts said, according to Bloomberg. 

But the news service also noted that the company may just be taking advantage of a two-year high in its share price to raise capital.

The stock recently traded at $45.34, up 2.7%. It has soared 87% over the past six months as investors have been enthusiastic about vaccine distribution and the prospect of economic recovery.

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TripAdvisor got plenty of love from analysts in February and March. In the latter month, Citi upgraded the stock to buy from neutral.

Citi estimates that the Needham, Mass., company's subscription offering, TripAdvisor Plus, could attract 10 million subscribers, "creating an additional $1 billion of high-margin revenue."

Citi called Plus a "thesis changer." The firm more than doubled its price target on TripAdvisor to $62 a share from $29.

In February, Bernstein analyst Richard Clarke raised his price target to $45 from $40 while maintaining his outperform rating.

"Despite being in beta stage, confined to certain areas of the U.S., and without a full basket of direct supply, it is still something to get excited about," Clarke said of the Plus subscription product, according to Bloomberg.

Elsewhere on the analyst front, Stifel kept its hold rating on TripAdvisor, while increasing its price target to $39 from $26. 

Evercore ISI analyst Lee Horowitz kept his in-line rating, while raising his price target to $35 a share from $29.