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Expedia.com (EXPE - Analyst Report) recently announced its decision to partner St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in order to mark the 10th annual St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign.

The Thanks and Giving Campaign has already raised more than $387.0 million, which will be used for research and development to eradicate cancer among children. This happens to be the fourth time that Expedia has teamed up with the hospital to be a part of the campaign.

In an effort to extend its support to St. Jude’s cause, Expedia has announced that it will make a $5.0 donation to St. Jude each time a new customer signs up for the Groupon Getaways with Expedia program or each time a customer purchases a Groupon Getaways voucher through Expedia during Nov 18-Dec 31, 2013.

Apart from this, Expedia.com will donate an additional $5 for every Facebook (FB - Analyst Report) share of the Find Your Strength campaign. We also note that Expedia offered 150 trips earlier this year to extend its support to the hospital and also allowed its loyalty program members to donate their reward points for the cause of kids at St. Jude.

In September, the company’s subdivision Hotels.com added St. Jude along with American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association as benefactors to its annual Fairway to Wellness Golf Tournament.

Expedia is well-known for its philanthropic activities, which are one of the reasons for its significant exposure in the online travel market.  The company’s expanding customer base helped it to report gross bookings of $10.44 billion, up 3.1% sequentially and 15.2% year over year in the recently concluded third quarter.

Despite the positive long-term trends in online travel booking, the company is not doing very well currently. It is seeing increasing competition from players like Priceline.com (PCLN - Analyst Report) and OrbitzWorldwide (OWW - Snapshot Report). Also, Google has entered the travel search and booking market through its purchase of ITA Software in 2010.

Currently Expedia shares carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
 

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