TripAdvisor Inc (TRIP) Shares Take a Spill on Takeover Talk, Downgrade

TripAdvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP) stock took a dip Friday as the company may be up for grabs in the coming months.

The company has had its fair share of struggles lately as it’s been rehashing its business model, seeking to become the top booking company for flights and hotels instead of simply a review site. Consumers using mobile devices have been visiting TripAdvisor more, but many of these travelers use the site for research and planning rather than booking.

Over the last year, the company’s market value has dropped from around $9 billion to $5.7 billion. It is unclear if the company will be seeking a merger with a major tech or e-commerce business, but TripAdvisor Chairman Greg Maffei said back in March that companies such as Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) could be suitors.

The site amasses more than 415 unique monthly users on average. Another hint at a potential takeover is the fact that TripAdvisor’s key executives who may depart as a result of a merger have improved the company’s executive exit packages if they are with the company or leave when such a move happens.

Jefferies Group LLC has downgraded the stock on these rumors, cutting its price target to $35 ahead of the weekend.

TRIP shares fell 3.5% on Friday.

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