#3 S&P Stock: Expedia
Sector: Consumer Discretionary
YTD Gain: 67%
If you think Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) spun off TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP) to hide troubles in its core business, think again. The fact is the online airfare and hotel booking service is doing brisk business and thriving as TripAdvisor sends referrals its way.
It’s a no-brainer that as folks research a vacation on TripAdvisor, they eventually will need to make travel plans — and Expedia is growing in kind with its sister site. What’s amazing is that Expedia revenue is almost exactly where it was a year ago — before TRIP was spun off as a separate company and the sales were backed out of its parent company!
Investors like both of these stocks because of the international appeal. Expedia serves 25 countries and is growing its reach all the time. If and when the European debt crisis resolves itself, you can bet that travel bookings will increase to the region and push sales even higher. It goes without saying that a turnaround in consumer confience could mean even bigger gains for EXPE.