NEW YORK (AP) -- A Piper Jaffrey analyst downgraded online travel company Expedia Inc., saying the stock has gotten too expensive to warrant a buy rating.
THE OPINION: In cutting the stock to Neutral from Overweight, analyst Michael J. Olson noted Expedia has gained almost 20 percent since he raised his price target on the stock. Although he still sees opportunity for strong growth, it's not enough to warrant the his highest rating.
Olson expects the business to grow at a rapid clip in both the U.S. and overseas on a boost in new customers. He believes his earnings forecast for the current quarter and fiscal year could be too low.
The "upward move in Expedia share offers (a) chance to take some chips off the table," he said.
THE STOCK: Olson has a $53 price target on the stock, which closed Monday at $49.96. Shares fell about 3 percent, or $1.47, to $48.49 in afternoon trading Tuesday.