Ctrip.com (CTRP) Stock Jumps After Buying Stake in eLong

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Ctrip.com (CTRP) were gaining 12.9% to $81.30 on heavy trading volume Friday after the Chinese online travel agency announced it acquired a stake in competitor eLong (LONG).

Shares of eLong were gaining 14.8% to $23.70.

Ctrip said it acquired a 37.6% stake in eLong for about $400 million. The company acquired the stake from Expedia (EXPE) and other selling shareholders.

Expedia previously held a 62.4% stake in eLong before it sold its stake to Ctrip and others.

Last year competitor Priceline (PCLN) acquried a 10% stake in eLong.

Ctrip also said that it agreed to cooperate with Expedia to "allow their respective customers to benefit from certain travel product offerings for specified geographic markets."

About 5.6 million shares of Ctrip were traded by 10:29 a.m. Friday, well above the company's average trading volume of about 2.9 million shares a day.

TheStreet Ratings team rates CTRIP.COM INTL LTD as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate CTRIP.COM INTL LTD (CTRP) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed -- some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and generally higher debt management risk."

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