Expedia and TripAdvisor Split as Reviews Site Goes Public

Today markets the much-anticipated public debut of the world’s largest travel site TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP), which Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) announced in April it would spin off as a public company.

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TripAdvisor successfully completed its spin-off from Expedia today, commencing trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker “TRIP”. Since shareholders approved the spin-off on December 6, the stock has been trading under the symbol “TRIPV“.

TRIP shares climbed to $29 apiece today, higher than Expedia, which was trading at $27.72, down 50 percent after the company’s one-for-two reverse stock split. In the split effected yesterday, holders of Expedia common stock prior to the effective time of the spin-off  became entitled to one share of TripAdvisor common stock and one share of Expedia common stock for every two shares of Expedia common stock held before the split.

TripAdvisor Inc., which was founded in 2000, attracts more than 50 million unique monthly visitors and has 20 million members to TripAdvisor and its 18 subsidiary travel sites. The site publishes 25 new contributions every minute, features eight million candid traveler photos, and operates in 30 different countries around the world.

TripAdvisor revenues appear to be increasing by roughly 30 percent each quarter, although Expedia warned in October that the newly public company’s profit margins would be “under a bit of pressure” as a result of the spin-off. The relies mainly on cost-per-click advertising for revenue.

TripAdvisor recently debuted an in-depth social personalization effort in concert with Facebook that so far has signed up 57 million users who can receive social recommendations and advice on the reviews platform via their Facebook accounts. CEO and co-founder Stephen Kaufer says the company is looking at further opportunities, especially in mobile, and will consider acquisitions as a way to expand.

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