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TripAdvisor Buys Vacation Home Rentals

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TripAdvisor Inc. (TRIP - Free Report) , an online travel research company, announced the acquisition of Vacation Home Rentals for an undisclosed sum.

Massachusetts-based Vacation Home Rentals is a website featuring more than 14,000 vacation rental properties in 89 countries. Additionally, the company offers 50,000 travel reviews and opinions on its website.

The acquisition will complement TripAdvisor’s travel product portfolio with the addition of more properties at famous destinations. The company will now feature more than 550,000 rental properties around the world. The acquisition will improve efficiency, expand the company’s user base, increase traffic, hotel shoppers and profits. It will help TripAdvisor to better compete with other travel online companies including HomeAway, Inc. with roughly 952,000 listings.

TripAdvisor has an aggressive merger and acquisition strategy. Since 2013, this is the second acquisition for the company in the Vacation Rentals group — the first being Niumba, a vacation rentals website in Spain, acquired in May 2013. Other takeovers in 2013 include GateGuru, a flight and airport information mobile app acquisition, following, TinyPost, JetSetter and CruiseWise.

TripAdvisor is the world’s largest online travel research company. The acquisitions have helped the company to build a desired portfolio and increase page views per visitor since users now spend more time on its website. The company is striving to help consumers make their travel decisions easy and fruitful based on the experiences of other travelers.

TripAdvisor continues to witness robust top-line growth in every quarter. The company delivered decent fourth-quarter results. Earnings and revenues were above the prior-year figures on the back of a strong global travel market. Revenues were $212.7 million, up 25.5% year over year, driven by improvement in all its product lines and continued strong hotel shopper growth.

TripAdvisor will report first-quarter results on May 6. Over the long term, the company is well positioned for growth, given its expanding user base, improving margins and increasing monetization of social and mobile platforms.

Currently, TripAdvisor has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks that have been performing well and are worth considering include Taomee Holdings Ltd. and Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. (ENT - Free Report) . Both these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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