Ctrip.com (CTRP) Victim to Double-Digit Sell-Off

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Chinese online travel agent Ctrip.com International (CTRP) plunged during Thursday's trading session, unloading 13.2% to $38.64 by midday. The heavy sell-off so far has no clear direct cause.

Two days earlier, the company announced it would spend more than $100 million to purchase ToursForFun, a rival Chinese-language travel site. This latest purchase is another in a trend of aggressive acquisitions by Ctrip. Last year, the company acquired travel search engine Kuxun, hotel app Economy Hotel Manager and car rental businesses Yongche and eHi Car Services.

A broad sell-off among Chinese equities is being seen, possibly a result of the release of CPI and PPI figures out of China early Thursday morning. Chinese inflation fell 2.5% in December and came in below forecasts of 2.7%. The producer price index fell for its twenty-second consecutive month, dropping 1.4%. 

TheStreet Ratings team rates CTRIP.COM INTL LTD as a Buy with a ratings score of B. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate CTRIP.COM INTL LTD (CTRP) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, solid stock price performance, expanding profit margins and impressive record of earnings per share growth. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

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