NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - TripAdvisor ( TRIP) was the best-performing stock in the S&P 500 in midday action on Wednesday. At last check, the S&P 500 was falling 7.96 points, or 0.57%, to 1,397.86.
Shares of TripAdvisor rose 18.67% to $43.35 after the online travel company blew past Wall Street's expectations for its first-quarter results after Tuesday's closing bell. The Needham, Mass.-based company posted non-GAAP earnings of $52.5 million, or 38 cents a share, for the three months ended in March with revenue soaring 23% year-over-year to $183.7 million. That performance eclipsed the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for a profit of 34 cents a share on revenue of $174.4 million in the quarter. Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded TripAdvisor's stock to buy from neutral with a $53 price target after the report, while Capstone boosted its assessment of the the stock to hold from sell. Shares of TripAdvisor hit a 52-week high Wednesday of $44.46. The stock's 52-week low of $23.99 was set on Dec. 22. TripAdvisor trades at an estimated price-to-earnings ratio for next year of 23.89 times; the average for travel and tourism companies is 16.88X. For comparison, Expedia ( EXPE) has a lower forward P/E of 12.57X. Thirteen of the 19 analysts who cover TripAdvisor give the stock a hold rating. Five analysts rate it at buy and one gives the stock a sell rating. The stock has risen 71.52% year to date.