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Expedia results take a toll on industry shares

The Associated Press

The shares of a number of online travel companies fell in trading Friday following a dismal quarterly report by Expedia Inc.

Expedia reported late Thursday that its second-quarter profit fell by one-third, as it struggled with intense competition and higher marketing and technology costs. The quarter's results missed Wall Street projections for the period.

Shares of Expedia sank 27 percent to $48.43 by late afternoon. It fell as low as $47.38 earlier in the day.

One of the problems this quarter was that its former subsidiary TripAdvisor took some of the customer traffic that it had once referred to Expedia for bookings. This sent shares of TripAdvisor Inc. up $3.29, nearly 5 percent, to $74.39 Friday.

A number of analysts lowered their price target on Expedia's stock and some downgraded their rating on the stock following the report.

Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Naved Khan said that the quarter was a disappointment, along with management's lower 2013 outlook for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

However, the analyst said in a research note that he believes the hit from TripAdvisor is a temporary issue, and the company should be able to increase its bookings growth notably in the future. But based on the quarter's results, the analyst lowered his price target on the stock to $65 from $75.

Expedia's tough quarter also lead to a tough day for competitors.

Priceline.com's shares fell $10.56, a 1 percent drop, to $901.44 by late afternoon. Shares of Orbitz Worldwide Inc. fell 39 cents, roughly 4 percent, to $9.60 and Travelzoo Inc.'s shares fell 23 cents to $29.53 by later afternoon.