TripAdvisor Knocked by Analyst For Weak Start to 2019

Short interest has declined during the past two reporting periods

Managing Editor
Mar 6, 2019 at 9:54 AM
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Online travel name TripAdvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP) is lower in early trading, down 5.4% at $49.48, after being slammed with a bear note from Cowen and Company. The firm downgraded its rating to "underperform" from "market perform," and sliced its price target to $40 from $50. In the note, Cowen called out TripAdvisor's weak start to the year, the stock's expensiveness compared to sector peers, and rising competition from Google.

The bear note doesn't come as too much of a surprise, however. Currently, 19 of the 21 analysts covering TRIP sport tepid "hold" or "sell" ratings. Meanwhile, the average 12-month price target comes in at $56.33.

On the charts TripAdvisor stock has had a volatile run, most recently sliding lower, and now falling below the $52 level -- a mark that has acted as a line of support for the shares during the past 12 months. Regardless, the equity has slipped 9% year-to-date.

Digging deeper, options look to be an ideal way to bet on more upside for TRIP. This is per the security's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 32%, which ranks in the 6th percentile of its annual range. In other words, volatility expectations do not appear high for short-term contracts.

Lastly, short interest on TRIP fell 6.6% during the past two reporting periods, and now represents a healthy 15.4% of the stock's total available float. At the online travel name's average pace of daily trading, it would take shorts nearly a week to buy back their bearish bets.

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