In September I made an ill-timed move into Expedia stock, just in time to see the stock drop by 30% in November. The drop was primarily due to a bad earnings release – revenue number lower than expected and and EPS miss by $0.43 a share. In addition, the market is spooked by Google getting into the vacation rentals space in this already competitive environment.
So what to do now? Do I bail or buy on the dip? Arguably, its too late to bail on the stock:
So I need to see if it makes sense to add to my position – because if I liked it at $132 I should love it at $94. Looking at the forward estimates does’t paint a great picture:
For the last year for Forward Twelve Month estimates (FTM) have been consistently dropping, at even after the drop the forward price earnings growth (PEG) metric is historically high. So that explains the nervousness about the stock.
However, if you believe the nervousness that Google will keep squeezing Expedia is overdone, and they can stabilize EPS growth, I think there is some opportunity here. Short term I think the drop is overdone. This is still a stock that is growing earnings at 50% per year, with a PE below market. Not that I am super bullish on this stock long term, I just think its OK to play for a bounce on this. So in my case, I added to my position in late November to get by cost basis break-even lower. I think this will be a short term (1-2 month) trade, with the assumption that I will lighten up on my Expedia holdings after a month or so, and take the short term tax loss on my initial purchase. My valuation and technical model is positive on this stock for the month of December, so I would guess the majority of the bounce will happen in the next 30 days. After that, I will have to wait and see because my model doesnt forecast past 30 days.
Long term, I am not sold that Expedia will dominate the travel world, but I think its worth a 30 day trade to assume that everybody who was going to sell has already sold.